Funeral arrangements for Deputy Chief Jeff Holden, the Orange County firefighter who died in the line of duty this week, were released Wednesday. Holden's service will be Saturday morning, Aug. 18 at New Horizon Church in Durham.
Holden was one of two firefighters who entered a trench to free a construction worker who was trapped Monday. He was later found unresponsive at the main station on South Churton Street at about 1:30 p.m. News of his passing came shortly after.
Firefighters worked for nearly two hours to put out a large tire fire at a recycling facility on the edge of Biltmore Village early Thursday morning.
The call came in at about 4:30 a.m. A pile of tires, debris and brush had caught fire at the back of the Biltmore Iron and Metal Co., almost under the McDowell Street Bridge.
"This was definitely a pretty large fire," said Asheville Fire Department spokeswoman Kelly Klope. "That's mainly because we couldn't get to it quickly enough to extinguish it right away."
When firefighters arrived at the recycling company at about 4:45 a.m., she said, they couldn't get their trucks into the positions that they wanted because iron scraps and other debris were in the way. Firefighters positioned a fire engine on the McDowell Street Bridge to spray the flames from the air, while ground crews worked to hold the fire at bay and prevent it from spreading while they waited for a backhoe operator to arrive to clear the way for them to get closer to the blaze, Klope said.
Asheville Citizen Times
The Wrightsville Beach Fire Department is experimenting with drones to help lifeguards with water rescues.
The department is testing equipment that allows drones to carry a lightweight inflatable buoy to swimmers who might be in distress, according to Wrightsville Beach firefighter Sam Proffitt. He said the drone can quickly fly a few hundred yards and drop the device.
"It will inflate once it hits the water. They can grab it and they can either hold it or clip it to them, and then we still have the other end of the rope on the beach. We take that, wrap it around the hitch on the back of a truck, and slowly pull that person into shore," Proffitt said. The system is meant to assist lifeguards, not replace them, according to Proffitt. But drones could help law enforcement agencies in towns and cities where there are no lifeguards on duty.
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