The FDNY responds to thousands of fires a year across the five boroughs, but a blaze in the Bronx on Monday marked a first for the department.
After training with a drone for more than six months, the FDNY used the unmanned aircraft to battle a fire at 653 Crotona Park North in the Crotona Park section of the borough.
The fire broke out in the six-story building just after 6 p.m. and grew to a destructive blaze within an hour.
Though firefighters were able to give crews on the ground “great radio reports,” Deputy Assistant Chief Dan Donoghue said on Facebook, “with the drone, we had good visual pictures” as the roof began to fail.
“It really helped us make decisions to put this fire out and keep our members safe," he added.
In a later post, Timothy Herlocker, director of the FDNY’s operations center, said the 8-pound drone was tethered to a landing pad and its infrared camera allowed them to “see hotspots on the roof.” The images were sent directly to the incident commander as well as senior officials in the department, he said.
The drone cost $85,000, the New York Daily News reported.
The cause of the fire, which was under control around 8 p.m., is still unknown, and the Daily News said that two firefighters sustained minor injuries and all of the building’s tenants were safely evacuated.