ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/Fox 24) Friday morning around 3:30 a.m. Odessa Fire Rescue was called to a structure fire at the Pioneer Furniture Store on the corner of South Grant and Ada Street.
When firefighters arrived, officials said almost half the building was burning. Assistance Chief Saul Ortega with Odessa Fire Rescue said they had to fight this fire defensively from the outside because of the condition of the roof.
“It’s been a little difficult because the roof has collapsed into the second story, and so there is a little pocket there, of fire that we can’t just seem to get to,” said Asst. Chief Ortega.
Odessa Fire Rescue fought the fire from the air and the ground. After about five hours, the fire department had it 99% containment. Officials have confirmed that there was furniture inside, but this location was used for storage. No injuries have been reported, and the cause of the fire is still under investigation. We will keep you updated as this story develops.
With the help and partnership of the Texas Rangers, firefighters were able to see through the thick smoke to parts of the building using infrared cameras from the drones. Steven Gray, a drone pilot with the Texas Rangers, said that the drones not only help keep the firefighters safe but also helps them see if someone is inside.
Texas Rangers and DPS have more than 100 drone pilots to for mainly border patrol investigations, but are occasionally called to help with large structure fires.
Check out this raw video below for a behind-the-scenes look of the new drone technology.