Re: Safely removing tile from fireplace mantle
Take the mantel off first, then you can attack from the edges. I'd want a wide brick chisel to attempt to break them free. If they are really still fully attached, the only possibility is to cut them off with a diamond blade in a grinder. That process is dustier than you can imagine. You'd need to seal off the room and run an exhaust fan in one window and open the others to pull fresh air through.
A carbide grit-coated blade in a sawzall is a third but much slower prospect.
Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.