WFGZ Transmitter Fire
The following series of pictures are of one of my transmitter sites that was partially burned as the result of a severe lighting strike to the site. The fire damage aside, the actual lighting damage was quite minimal, but the cleanup took several days.
Total time off air was
less than 4 hours although the site ran on generator for about 4 more hours
after I got the transmitter back up. Most of the electronic damage involved
telephone related equipment (remote control, telephone, standby program
loop & eq). Junction boxes for the buried phone lines were literally
blown apart for almost a mile in all directions from the tower. Telephone
service was out in the general area for over a day.
The transmitter had inhaled
a large amount of soot and smoke and required a through clean out before
I would bring it back on line. Even at that I still had some minor pops
but no major KABOOMS.
This is the area that
the fire started in. When lightning struck, it came into a telephone company
demarc box that resided just to the right of the charred box (stby pgm
loop eq) visible in this picture. When the demarc was blown off of the
wall, it apparently caught fire and spread to a plastic sink that was directly
underneath the demarc. Several cans of motor oil and antifreeze (for the
generator) had been stored under the sink and were soon added to the conflagration.
Most of the damage was due to smoke and heat. This photo was taken of the area directly above the sink/demarc area. The wiring in the conduits shown here were completely melted for several feet and obviously had to be replaced. Note that florescent bulbs in several fixtures were broken due to heat.
This is the cover of the demarc box that was supposed to be on the wall about 10 feet the the right of this area. The bottom of the main CCA FM10,000G transmitter can be seen to the right, while the OLD gates FM1 standby can be seen to the left. Center is the processing and STL rack.
This shot is out the door immediately the the right of the fire area. The green substance on the concrete is antifreeze that was stored under the sink. I believe that the antifreeze jug melting and releasing it's contents onto the floor was one of the only reasons that the fire didn't get big enough to reach the wooden rafters of the building. Note the bent copper strap to the upper right of this picture. Also note the freshly broken concrete around the bend in the strap.
This picture is just
outside the door in the previous shot. This strap and conduit was torn
away from the wall by the force of the strike. There was a hole blown in
the concrete pad approximately 2 inches deep.
Another shot looking back through the building toward the fire area. It was obviously a mess. Soot was 1/4 inch deep on the floor in spots.
More shots of the corner
where the fire originated. The concrete looking mixture in the back left
was a bag of QuikCrete. The white stuff in the center was block insulation
that was released when the wires burned off. Note broken florescent tubes
How about them cob webs?
Home | Picture Page