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Man Rescued From 700-Foot Johnson County Tower

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BURLESON (CBSDFW.COM/AP) - Emergency crews spent almost eight hours on Wednesday night, and into early Thursday morning, trying to rescue a worker from a communications tower, 700 feet up in the air in Johnson County, near Burleson.

This dangerous situation, officials said, was likely caused by the triple-digit temperatures that have been cooking North Texans this week. The National Weather Service said that this area of the Metroplex was still above 100 degrees at the time of the rescue.

Firefighters were called the scene at about 6:00 p.m. Wednesday night. A crew had been working near the top of the tower. But one of the men was overcome by the extreme heat and was unable to make it back down to the ground.

The only way to rescue the man, firefighters said, was to climb up the tower, step-by-step, and slowly work him back down with a harness. The extreme heat made this an extremely difficult task. Some of the rescuers suffered from heat cramps while working their way up the tower, carrying heavy medical and rescue equipment.

Once the rescuers reached the stuck man near the top of the tower, they ran into another challenge. Lt. Jeremiah Lozer with the Burleson Fire Department explained, “The patient was 6’5” or 6’7” so dealing with someone that large and getting them down the tower and getting them safely was the most difficult.”

Fire crews were able to rescue the man without any injuries. The communications tower worker was exhausted and dehydrated, but is expected to be okay. He was transported to a local hospital. His name has not been released. The four firefighters who climbed the tower were treated on the scene for heat exhaustion, but they were all fine and sent home from work early.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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