A 200-foot cell tower in Lapeer County, Michigan, owned by American Tower, suffered an interior electrical fire earlier this week, according to a report in the County Press, causing damage to the integrity of the structure.
The newspaper reported that flames could be seen shooting from the top of the tower at nighttime, while the base of the was so hot that the metal glowed orange and pink. Lapeer Fire & Rescue and Elba Township Fire Dept. firefighters were dispatched to the fire just past 9 p.m.
High winds were forecast for the area the next day. Fears that the tower would collapse onto nearby powerlines were not realized, but the self-supported structure did list to the side. Tenants on the tower — AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile — believe the tower will need to be dismantled, according reports.
“Plans are in the works to install a portable 60-foot cell tower in the vicinity of where the fire occurred that’s expected to improve service to AT&T, Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile customers — all impacted when an electrical fire took out a 197-foot tower located near North Elm and Saginaw streets,” according to the County Press.
It is expected that the entire tower will be brought down and replaced with a new tower upgraded with 5G equipment.