The Branford (CT) Fire Department made use of a drone for the first time in the department’s history during a fire at the J& J Blasting Company in Stony Creek Quarry last week.
Firefighters called an evacuation based on the drones finding, causing the temporary displacement of 862 people who lived within a mile of the fire, according to the Branford Eagle.
It was initially feared the fire was near explosives that might ignite, but a drone was flown over the site to take photos and fire officials later determined the location of the fire was about 30 feet from the explosives. At that point, a fire apparatus responded to the site to put the fire out.
Fire Chief Jack Ahern told the Eagle last night that the fire was the result of human error, an accident caused by an employee who inadvertently burned boxes that once contained explosives. The burning took place near rubber mats made of tires that are used in explosive activity. There was snow nearby, it was difficult to see, and the embers that were thought to be out were not. The mats then ignited, causing huge columns of dense black smoke to rise from the quarry yesterday afternoon. The fire could be seen from miles around.