As they later learned, a gunman ambushed the firefighters with a plan to kill.
"It doesn't matter if they're from Colorado, California or New York. They are part of our family," Captain Patrick Love with the Poudre Valley Fire Authority said. "My initial reaction was pure shock."
Unlike most people, firefighters had a deeper connection and they felt a deeper loss.
"It's something you don't expect to hear. Definitely something you would never expect to roll up on," Love said.
Love says he's never heard of an ambush attack on firefighters like the one in Webster, N.Y. Albeit a rarity, the thought is always there, Love says.
"We know in the back of our minds there's always some chance of someone getting hurt or killed," Love said.
Firefighters, he says, don't undergo the sort of intense training law enforcement goes through. But there is training, none the less.
"Also, we have policies and procedures in place to help us make those decisions," Love added.
When they do run in to a situation where police activity is involved, there are certain protocols to follow.
"Normally our procedure is to stay back out of the area and wait for law enforcement to clear the area and make it safe for us to go in there," he said.
Of course, under an ambush situation there's not much you can do or prepare for. Which makes the situation in Webster, N.Y. all the more unfortunate.
"It's a blow to the entire service community," Love said.