Dramatic drone video shows battle firefighters faced at abandoned warehouse


JENNINGS, Mo. – More than a dozen area fire departments responded to a large warehouse fire in Jennings Thursday. 

The abandoned structure was once the site of a bowling ball factory on X-Ograph Drive. Some hazardous materials remained inside the building and prompted voluntary evacuations nearby.

“We declared a state of emergency,” said Terry Wilson, acting mayor of Jennings.   

The city eventually notified residents the hazard was over but suggested nearby residents keep windows closed and HVAC units off as a precaution.  

“I want to take my hat off to our first responders,” said Wilson.  

“The best thing to us is no one got injured,” said Battalion Chief Wes Morgan, North County Fire, and Rescue.

One of the tools used by first responders included aerial views of the fire. One of the drones capturing images over the smoke and flames belongs to Andrew Suda, a firefighter, and paramedic with Metro North Fire Protection.  He’s also a drone pilot. 

“That helped us tremendously,” said Morgan.  Drone images helped determine how to safely move firefighters in a way that helped bring the fire under control.  

“We were also talking to the guys up on the aerial and were able to tell them, you know, go a little deeper, come over closer to us,” Suda said. “They couldn’t see with the heavy smoke.”   

Metro North Fire Protection hopes to purchase a drone of its own with either a grant or a donation. 

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.   

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