State Route 305 reopens after crews dismantle scorched cell tower

4:30 p.m. UPDATE: State Route 305 reopened after the cell phone tower was lowered to the ground by a crane crew.

11:30 a.m. UPDATE: State Route 305 will remain closed until at least 3 p.m., according to the state Department of Transportation. Verizon crews will dismantle, rather than stabilize, the tower.

POULSBO — A section of State Route 305 will likely be closed into the afternoon Monday as crews work to dismantle a leaning cell phone tower.

The Verizon tower caught fire Monday near Lemolo before 4 a.m. Monday. The fire caused the tower to lean, raising fears it could fall onto the highway, Poulsbo Fire Battalion Chief Bruce Peterson said.

The highway was closed and traffic is being diverted on Delate Road and Lemolo Shores Drive. The closure will continue until at least 3 p.m., according to the state Department of Transportation.

Verizon is bringing in a crane to dismantle the tower and will erect a temporary tower to restore any lost cellular service.

The cause of the fire is unknown but Verizon crews were working on the tower as recently as Sunday, Poulsbo Fire Department spokeswoman Jody Matson said.

Peterson said the fire burned cable insulators on the tower. Firefighters allowed the fire to burn out on its own.

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