Real-time drone video helps firefighters battle Andover Apartment blaze

Real-time drone video helps firefighters battle Andover Apartment blaze

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Ground level video of Thursday's Andover Apartment fire was dramatic enough, but drone video provides an even more incredible look at what happened.

Toledo Police own the drone, but this is the second time they let Toledo Fire Department leaders use it.

The drone video of the firefighting effort starts with heavy flames and thick black smoke.

You then see dozens of firefighters pouring constant streams of water on the flames, and later, when the drone zoomed out, you see the complex's blue swimming pool and fire trucks and ambulances in the parking lot and the road.

The drone moved in for a closer look and it was easy to see how the water was having an effect, turning the black smoke gray and reducing the intensity of the flames.

40 seconds later, the drone was high over two firefighters who were pouring water on the fire, seeing it from their perspective.

The drone then showed smoke flying over St. Patrick of Heatherdowns Church, although the church itself never caught fire.

After a short break, the drone lifted off again for more views. You could see the charred remains of the first units that caught fire and that the flames were for the most part, out.

There was also an impressive show of water from TFD on the remaining hotspots. At least four streams of water were concentrated on the remaining flames.

Chief Luis Santiago was directing the firefighters by what the drone was capturing, a new and unique way to fight fires of any size.

"He was able to redirect streams in areas to stop the progress of the fire. As it moved around the building, our goal was to cut it off," said TFD spokesperson, Private Sterling Rahe. "We were trying to save as much of the building as we could and we made a pretty good stop where it is right now and saved the other half of the building."

The drone video wrapped up with a tight shot of the shocking damage in one end of the complex.

It made it strikingly clear why so much inside was lost.

The Red Cross says they have already received enough item donations and are only accepting cash donations at this time.

To Donate:

You can head to and address it as Toledo Chapter Disaster Relief.

Or you can call the chapters phone line: 419-329-2900

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