Drones becoming more popular over Houston

HOUSTON – All over Houston more military-style aircraft are taking to the skies -- you could call it drone warfare. New to the battle is the Houston Fire Department.

"We really like the new technology," said Ruben Hernandez, with HFD's Arson Bureau.

The arson division's drone is just 1 month old.

"Many times when we're at the ground level the fire has compromised the building and we don't know what's going on the roof," said Hernandez. "By using the drone to fly overhead it gives us an aerial image of the structure above. We can look at areas that (we) should be aware of for safety reasons for possible collapse."

It has the potential to protects arson investigators from serious injury or even death after the fire is out.

Daniel Pawlowski, with Up in the Air, has also joined the aerial assault.

"I come from a theater, acting, film background," Pawlowski said.

While he's not saving lives, drones help him make a living.

"I got into RC helicopters when I was a kid," said Pawlowski. "So my next thing was I want to put a camera on a helicopter. The drones, when they started to come out, that's the first thing I went to."

His drone shoots video for St. Pius High School.

"We did a lot of cool shots of football games, baseball games," said Pawlowski. "We've covered everything from flying over a (wedding) ceremony, with the camera going down as people are doing their vows."

He's also done events for the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese.

"Even the cardinal is talking about the drone flying in the air," said Pawlowski.

But there's yet another drone battle on whether it's legal for drones to even be in the skies -- especially for commercial use.

Pawlowski insists he's not making money exclusively from the drone's spectacular views and video. Instead he works around the law.

"Our main service is is offering marketing video. We don't technically charge for our services. It's just one of the many tools we use to get the shots we need," said Pawlowski. "My favorite part (of using a drone is) I get to fly an RC aircraft and provide somebody with a really cool shot."