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By Roger Alford
The Associated Press

INDEPENDENCE, Ky. -- Police and firefighters were shot at when they arrived at a burning Kentucky home where they found three family members dead inside and a toddler wandering outside, police said Wednesday.
Police and firefighters came under fire around 10 p.m. on Tuesday when they arrived at the family's two-story brick home in the tidy, middle-class Freedom Park neighborhood of Independence, Ky., located about 17 miles south of Cincinnati. No responders were injured. It wasn't clear if police returned fire.
The dead were identified as Seaward Padilla, 43; his wife, Lori Padilla, 45; and their daughter, Jessica Padilla, 22. It wasn't clear how they died; autopsies were expected to be completed on Thursday.
The toddler, Jessica Padilla's 2-year-old daughter, was unharmed.
Assistant Police Chief David Nichols said whoever fired the shots didn't make it out of the house alive.
"We had an officer in the back and an officer in the front," Nichols said.
A man called 911 from the Padilla residence to report a fire in the basement before hanging up.
Seaward Padilla was employed at the Kenton County School District as a substitute bus driver and monitor from 2003 until 2007, and Jessica was a 2005 graduate of Simon Kenton High School, the district said in a release.
Neighbors said the Padillas had a long history of domestic squabbles.
"Any time we'd see an emergency vehicle on this street with flashing lights, that's the first house we'd look at," said neighbor Tony Daly, who said he often heard arguments at the Padilla home.
Family friend Greg Waite said relatives had no immediate comment and planned to make a statement later in the week.
Wayne Warning, who lives across the street, said word of the deaths was alarming.
"They were personable," he said. "They obviously had their domestic problems."

Wire Service
 
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