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Fire erupts at Riverside home with suspect in police shootout possibly inside, authorities say

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Riverside police on Tuesday were searching for a man they said ran from officers and then shot at them. The man may have been wounded when officers returned fire, authorities said.

A fire broke out Tuesday morning at a house in Riverside where a man involved in a shootout with police had possibly been holed up, authorities say.

The neighborhood was on lockdown and at least five homes had been evacuated as SWAT teams searched for the suspect who shot at two police officers Monday night, authorities say.

The officers were not wounded.

The house caught fire at around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, just as police prepared to enter and search it, said Riverside police Officer Ryan Railsback.

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Police do not know if the suspect started the fire or if SWAT tactics caused it, Railsback said. He would not say what tactics were used, and said he did not know if the suspect was in the house when it caught fire. Earlier in the morning, other occupants of the house were evacuated, he said.

The fire was contained by Riverside firefighters. The home is on a side street near the 4400 block of MacArthur Road.

About 10:50 p.m. Monday, Riverside police officers approached a suspicious vehicle on MacArthur Road, just north of Garfield Street, in the city’s Ramona neighborhood, Railsback said Tuesday morning.

One man who was standing outside the car went down a side street, and the officers followed him on foot, Railsback said. The suspect shot at the officers multiple times, and they returned fire, he said.

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It’s unclear whether the suspect, who then fled, was injured, Railsback said.

“Everything along MacArthur is closed down, along with the side streets there,” he said. 

The people who were in the car were detained and are being questioned, he said.

Reach Sonali Kohli at Sonali.Kohli@latimes.com or on Twitter @Sonali_Kohli.

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UPDATES:

8:15 a.m.: This article was updated with a fire breaking out at the the house. 

This article was originally published at 6;25 a.m.

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