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3 killed, firefighter injured in firebombing of Southern California tire shop

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LOS ANGELES — The firebombing of a Southern California tire shop left three people dead and a firefighter injured on Saturday, authorities said.

Fire crews went to the Cheque Tires shop in South El Monte around 5:30 a.m. after a witness reported seeing three men throw a Molotov cocktail at the business, Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said.

The shop was engulfed in flames when they arrived, and firefighters were unable to save a badly burned man behind a locked gate and a cement block wall with razor wire on top, sheriff's Detective Victor Lewandowski said.

A firefighter suffered second-degree burns to his face while cutting through the fence to get to the man. He was in stable condition at a hospital.

After the fire was put out, crews sifting through the debris found two other bodies.

The attackers were seen fleeing in a white Chevrolet Silverado pickup, sheriff's officials said.

The motive of the firebombing was under investigation.

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