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Polk County Fire Rescue Responds to an Aircraft Emergency

Published: March 14, 2024

Bartow, Fla. (March 14, 2024) — Polk County Fire Rescue suppression units responded to an aircraft emergency on Lake Buffum Rd. W in Fort Meade at 2:48 p.m. Drone 1 (off-duty) arrived on scene within 8 minutes with six additional units arriving within minutes.

Crews located an experimental aircraft engulfed in flames. A quick assessment determined that both occupants had self-extricated. PCFR crews worked quickly getting water on the fire then firefighting foam was used to completely extinguish the fuel-fed fire.

“Due to quick thinking by the pilot, serious injuries were avoided as the aircraft crashed into an open field without endangering any structures or persons in the area,” said Fire Chief Hezedean A. Smith, D.M.

The occupants were evaluated for injuries by PCFR paramedics but were not transported.

Polk County Sheriff’s Office notified the FAA and NTSB.


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