0

Cell tower fire closes Rockbridge Road, evacuates day care

Firefighters work to extinguish a fire at a cell phone tower at Rockbridge and Lilburn-Stone Mountain roads near Lilburn on Friday.
 Authorities block traffic as firefighters work to put out a fire at a cell phone tower at Rockbridge and Lilburn-Stone Mountain roads Friday.
 Smoke rises from a cell phone tower that caught fire Friday at Rockbridge and Lilburn-Stone Mountain roads near Lilburn. 

Firefighters work to extinguish a fire at a cell phone tower at Rockbridge and Lilburn-Stone Mountain roads near Lilburn on Friday. Authorities block traffic as firefighters work to put out a fire at a cell phone tower at Rockbridge and Lilburn-Stone Mountain roads Friday. Smoke rises from a cell phone tower that caught fire Friday at Rockbridge and Lilburn-Stone Mountain roads near Lilburn. 

LILBURN — A cellphone tower fire in the 500 block of Lilburn’s Rockbridge Road shut down the busy thoroughfare before rush hour Friday and evacuated a daycare and two nearby homes, officials said.

A transmission cable running the length of the 150-foot tower caught fire when a telecommunications crew was welding near the summit about 4 p.m., Gwinnett County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Thomas Rutledge said.

As a precaution, authorities closed Rockbridge Road between Arcado Road and Lilburn-Stone Mountain Road. Crews were still wetting hot spots around the tower about 5:30 p.m.

“We’re not completely sure what the damage is going to be to the tower structure itself,” Rutledge said. “It is leaning somewhat.”