Drone Helps Firefighters at Missouri Chemical Plant Fire

"They were able to use the thermal to direct the teams on the ground as to what areas needed attention, where to pull back and redirect from," Pagano explains.
(KSDK News, YouTube)

Infrared view from above the fire in Affton

KSDK News

AFFTON, Mo. – A chemical plant fire filled the air with smoke Thursday afternoon. A new firefighting tool helped keep crews safe during the dangerous situation.

Manor Chemical exploded into flames in Affton, creating a dangerous assignment for firefighting crews.

“We were able to put up one aircraft right away,” Matt Pagano, the Deputy Chief Fire Marshal with the University City Fire Department told 5 On Your Side, “Our second aircraft arrived a short while later coming from the engine house.”

The Fire Academy:
Fire Department UAS Program Implementation
UAS/Drone Integration and Operations for the Fire Service

Once airborne, Pagano flew the department’s drone over the chemical plant. Pagano was able to switch between regular and infrared cameras with a tablet showing the live video from the drone.

“They were able to use the thermal to direct the teams on the ground as to what areas needed attention, where to pull back and redirect from,” Pagano explains.

FirefighterNation: Firefighter Hurt in Missouri Chemical Company Fire

With Pagano’s hands at the control, crews on the ground were able to fight back the fire much quicker than without the steady eye in the sky. Without the mutual aid help from University City, Affton Fire Protection District Chief Nick Fahs told 5 On Your Side, “We might still be down there.”

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