Sanford road reopens near scorched cellphone tower

Crews will likely soon dismantle tower

SANFORD, Fla. – Sanford police on Thursday reopened Historic Goldsboro Boulevard, a day after there were fears a nearby cellphone tower would collapse after it ignited.

[PHOTOS: Cellphone tower ignites in Sanford]

The Sanford Building and Fire Prevention Division are awaiting plans from Crown Castle Tower in order to expedite the process of removing the tower.  A temporary cell tower may be permitted during the dismantling process.

The Seminole County Fire Department says the tower, located at 700 Historic Goldsboro Boulevard, was being welded by 5 workers when a fire broke out.

It's not known what sparked the blaze, although Sanford Fire Department spokesman Tim Robles termed the incident as an accident, saying no foul play is suspected.

No one was injured, but one worker had to rappel off the tower after his basket got stuck on one of the pegs used to climb it.

"The guy was half way down in the basket, and the basket got stuck," said Vincent Giardi, who watched as the fire burned.  "He got out of there, climbed the ropes and got down."

Power had been shut down in the area over fears the tower could topple power lines, but it was later restored.

Still, crews watched and waited to see if the tower would buckle after extremely hot temperatures caused it to lean.

An engineer declared the tower was "safe" after a rainstorm helped cool the hot metal, stabilizing it.

A crane was brought in from St. Petersburg to remove the worker's basket, which was held onto the tower by a peg, Robles said.

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