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Crews use drone in chimney fire fight

Firefighters got help from the sky Thursday morning when they extinguished a chimney fire in Ashland.

Crews responded to a call just after 11 a.m. in the 500 block of Scenic Drive, near Asante Ashland Community Hospital. Guided by their new drone and eight fire vehicles on the scene, the blaze was quickly put out.

Guided by their new drone, firefighters hacked through exterior and inside walls, ferreting out the source of the blaze and any embers, said Ashland Fire and Rescue Division Chief Chris Chambers, who was on the scene.

Firefighters cordoned off the scene from Maple Street to Wimer Street, as they used their drone for only the second time — following the fire on Fordyce Street, which destroyed a house in September.

Chambers said a resident called in the fire, and there was no danger to any people associated with it. Working on ladders, firefighters “cut higher and higher” into the area around the brick chimney, searching for hot spots, Chambers pointed out.

Combating the blaze were four “type one” fire trucks, the big ones, and more command vehicles, he said. It was considered a “first alarm fire,” meaning they didn’t call for help outside the area. However, a truck from Fire District 5 did arrive to help.

“They’re inside, tearing out the wall,” said Chambers, noting there would be minimal damage from the work of firefighters as they make sure all risk is eliminated.

John Darling is an Ashland freelance writer. Reach him at jdarling@jeffnet.org.

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