WJAL’s Loses Transmitter to Flames

Fire consumed the WJAL-TV transmitter facility this week, local reports indicate. The Chambersburg, Pa., independent station was still seeking to reroute its signal Thursday. WJAL, an Entravision-owned station licensed to the Hagerstown, Md., market, transmits from the top of Tuscarora Mountain, a 2,458-foot peak in the Appalachian Range about 15 miles west of Chambersburg.

Firefighters initially responded to an automatic alarm that sounded Tuesday night around 5:45 p.m., but they were unable to locate flames, according to Public Opinion. When the transmitter staff arrived about an hour later and opened up the building, the fire had grown and 911 was called. More than 40 firefighters responded, but icy road conditions and fallen tree branches delayed them. The building was engulfed in flames when they reached the site. It took around 20 minutes to extinguish the flames once they were able to get water hoses to the site.

Two firefighters were injured from falling on the ice; no other injuries were reported. An electrical malfunction is suspected to have caused the fire. One tower on the site sustained heat damage. Coverage by WHAG-TV says firefighters ruled the facility a total loss.