Lightning strikes Burrillville communications tower


BURRILLVILLE – A storm that moved into northern Rhode Island Friday afternoon took out a communication tower in Harrisville, with firefighters cutting power to the emergency equipment following a lightening strike.

Harrisville Fire Chief Michael Gingell told NRI NOW that lightening struck outside the tower, which is attached to the station on Callahan School Street, just after 4 p.m. on Friday, June 2. Sparks and smoke were detected in the station’s communication room and power to the facility was cut.

“At this time, routine phone lines to the station are down as well as two way radio communication equipment,” Gingell said around 6 p.m. “Alternate systems are being mobilized.”

Gingell noted that 911 was and is still operating for any emergency communication into the Harrisville Fire Station.

The chief provided an update on Saturday noting that the department was in ready response mode for all emergencies, with skeleton back up systems in place for two-way radio communications, as well as routine non-emergency calls to the station.

“Some of the damaged equipment has scene total failure,” Gingell said.

Gingell noted that no EMTs or firefighters were injured during the incident.

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