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Bensalem tower fire forces evacuation

By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   June 24, 2013 at 11:53 AM   |   Comments

June 24 (UPI) -- A 12-story tall AT&T tower in suburban Philadelphia that caught fire and was badly damaged Friday was taken down and dismantled to prevent it from falling over.

Welders were working 80 feet up the 118-foot cellular communications tower in Bensalem before noon Friday when sparks caused a fire about 10 feet above them. The workers called for help after they failed to extinguish the flames.

Fire crews had to wait for nearly an hour for electricity to be turned off so they could begin spraying the tower. The fire was put under control by about 1 p.m.

People from a dozen surrounding homes were evacuated as a precaution.

Crews took down the precariously leaning tower Friday night and dismantled it on the ground Saturday. A new one will be in place in four to six weeks.

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