Fighting fires is a hardcore, heroic business.

You bet your ass you want your first responder to be in good shape — able to carry you out of harm's way if worst comes to worst.

That's why this suspect is so damn scary:

Cops allege that Los Angeles Fire Department Capt. Matthew Phillipsen, 52, was busted this week “attempting to purchase seven balloons of simulated heroin from undercover officers.”

It's alarming on so many levels.

First of all, if our own rescuer is on drugs, we'd want it to be something stimulating like crack or meth.

Second: Seven balloons! Was this guy purchasing for the whole battalion?

Third: You gotta think that the LAPD doesn't like to arrest its first-responding brothers and sisters, so this must be an (allegedly) egregious case.

Cops accuse Phillipsen of buying the fake dope during a “sting” at 12:10 p.m. on Wednesday near Avenue 61 and North Figueroa Street in Highland Park.

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Did we mention SEVEN balloons. Wow.

Anyway, Phillipsen was arrested on suspicion of “intent to possess heroin” and jailed in lieu of $10,000 bail. Sheriff's department info indicates he was released the same day.

It's not clear if narcs targeted the suspect or just came across him as part of their sting.

But cops do seem to be fishing for more info about the suspect. They're asking anyone who has related background to drop a dime: 1-877-527-3247.

LA Weekly