Last mast fire that left thousands without television or radio
A 1,000-foot cord was placed around a massive transmission mast after a fire that prevented thousands of people from watching TV or tapping into their local radio station.
The North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (NYFRS) said a 984-foot exclusion zone had been placed around the Bilsdale Transmission Center, high up in the North York Moors, north of Helmsley, because its structural security is in doubt.
Eight pumps and crews from across the region were dispatched to fight the blaze, with the first call arriving at 1:19 p.m. Tuesday from an engineer working on the mast.
NYFRS said the engineer “believed the mast was on fire from smoke coming from below the first level of shroud” – about 164-196 feet up.
Calls also poured in from members of the public who spotted the smoke from afar,TeessideLive reports.
The service said it worked under “difficult circumstances” and extinguished a fire in a “one-story stone building” and the 1,032-foot mast.
In a statement, they said: “Only one building in a complex of four has been affected and the structural integrity of the mast is of concern.
“A 300-meter exclusion zone has been set up around the mast.
“Eight pumps from the North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service attended the incident and firefighting has now ceased until the site was confirmed as safe for further work.”
NYFRS said it would work Wednesday with Arqiva, the operators of the site, “to bring the incident to a safe conclusion.”
A spokesperson for Arqiva said: “The Bilsdale fire damaged our equipment and we are currently unable to broadcast TV and radio services from this site.
“Bilsdale is under fire department control. We apologize for the inconvenience.”
The mast, which was built in 1969, provides digital television signals to parts of North Yorkshire, Teesside andCounty Durham.
After the fire, a FreeView outage was reported on social media by people in County Durham and Teesside.
BBC Look North said some of its services were disrupted in those areas.
They posted online: “A fire at the Bilsdale transmitter means some of our services are disrupted in parts of North Yorkshire, County Durham and Teesside – but you can still see Look North tonight on @BBCiPlayer “
BBC Radio Tees, Heart North East, Capital North East and TFM all reported technical issues following the fire and urged residents to listen to their service online.
BBC Radio Tees posted online: “Our FM output was affected by the fire at the Bilsdale mast”
Heart North East said: “We are currently experiencing a radio outage on FM, DAB and Freeview in parts of Teesside and the North East due to a transmitter fire.”
Capital North East commented, “We are currently experiencing a radio outage on FM, DAB and Freeview in parts of Teesside and the North East due to a transmitter fire.
TFM added, “You might be struggling to listen to TFM right now, broadcasters in the region are having technical issues on FM and DAB due to a transmitter fire.”
A BBC spokesperson said: “Television and radio services are disrupted in parts of North Yorkshire and Teesside following a fire at the Bilsdale transmitter.
“We are in close contact with the company that manages the issuer which works on catering services.
“For those in the affected area, BBC Radio Tees is still available on BBC Sounds and online, as are other BBC radio stations. BBC TV can be viewed via BBC iPlayer and on cable and cable platforms. from the satellite. “