SWISSVALE (KDKA) — Firefighters from several departments want to know why the Borough of Swissvale terminated its assistant fire chief.

They filled council chambers Wednesday night and fired questions at borough leaders.

James Barco was relieved of his paid position as assistant chief last week. But residents and fellow firefighters say they, and Barco, deserve an answer.

Barco is also a volunteer chief in Homestead.

Council President Martin Busch told KDKA, “I can’t talk about it because it’s a personnel issue and we’re not allowed to talk about it.”

Many believe the firing has something to do with last month’s devastating blaze that tore through Homestead’s business district.

Swissvale, a paid municipal department, was not called in to battle that fire.

“It made world news,” said Homestead firefighter Rondel May. “For him to lose his job the next week … that’s a big slap in the face, not only to him, but to us. He’s our leader. We want to know why.”

None of the other council members answered questions from the crowd.

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