On July 24th, while working on a reinforcement project to add additional capacity to a Howell, Michigan monopole, a contractor accidentally set the structure’s transmission lines on fire, causing the American Tower Corporation monopole to be completely destroyed.

The fire, which started at about 9 a.m., burned itself out by 10 a.m., but left a leaning unstable 177-foot telecommunications tower that served AT&T, Sprint, and carried the internet connections for five Howell schools.

A COW (cell on wheels) is expected to be placed in service until a new monopole can be installed.

American Tower 177-foot Monopole“AT&T is currently cooperating with local officials and working with the vendor or the structure as they assess the safety of the tower,” said AT&T Spokesperson Meghan Roskopf.

Fire officials on site said the project, under the supervision of CommStructures of Pensacola, Florida, required cutting and welding and they believe that the coaxial cable was accidentally set on fire.

Paul Roberts, Vice President of Compliance for American Tower, said there is a very low probability that the tower will topple. He said the steel structure sometimes straightens itself out when it cools following the fire.

“However, we take no chances,” Roberts said. “We will keep a 250-foot clearance until we can get a crane out there and it’s secured.”

*Article contributed by WirelessEstimator.com

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LBA Group, Inc. has 60 years of experience in providing RF asset solutions and risk management for industrial and telecommunications infrastructure assets. The group is comprised of LBA Technology, a leading manufacturer and integrator of radio frequency systems, lightning protection and EMC equipment for broadcast, industrial and government users worldwide; the professional consultancy Lawrence Behr Associates and LBA University, providing on-site and online professional training. The companies are based in Greenville, N.C., USA.

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