Firefighters recover body of man from Fremont power tower

Updated:

Firefighters recovered the body of a man from a platform on a high-voltage electrical tower in Seattle's Fremont neighborhood after witnesses reported seeing an explosion and fire.

SEATTLE - Firefighters recovered the body of a man from a platform on a high-voltage electrical tower in Seattle's Fremont neighborhood after witnesses reported seeing an explosion and fire.

Witnesses called 911 reporting a man climbing up the tower at  Third Avenue Northwest and Northwest Leary Way around 12:30 a.m.  

Seattle Fire Department spokesman Kyle Moore said Seattle City Light told firefighters to remain on the ground because of the danger of electrocution until power was cut.

It took hours to get the power shut off in the 120,000-volt lines before four members of a special high-angle rescue team picked their way carefully up, first on a firetruck's ladder, then up the steps on the electric tower, to the platform at 152 feet up where the body lay.

City Light was able to route around the transmission line so only one nearby business was without power.

A person who lives near the tower said he was on his deck before 1 a.m. Friday and saw an explosion with electrical popping and crackling sounds and a small fire.

He said he heard a man calling for five or 10 minutes before he apparently fell to the platform. 

It's not known what the man was doing on the tower, but a cellphone and a baseball cap were found on the platform.

The body was placed on a litter and then lowered to the ground using ropes.

City Light said there's no evidence of damage or vandalism at the top.

The medical examiner will determine how the man died, but City Light said the climber came in contact with a 120,000-volt line.