TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Fire Knocks Out Phone Service in St. John's, NL

Re: Fire Knocks Out Phone Service in St. John's, NL

Steven Lichter (
Tue, 24 Oct 2006 00:30:26 GMT wrote:

> jwillis wrote:

>> Phone service is back to normal in Newfoundland after it was knocked
>> out in about one third of the island late Friday night.

>> The outage, lasting more than five hours, began when a power cable at
>> a telephone switching station in St. John's shorted out and started a
>> small fire, Bell Aliant said.

> I noticed this at the time as I was configuring a firewall and my ISP
> (Rogers cable) began to supply an invalid address to the WAN side of
> the box. is definitely not an address that Rogers would
> normally issue. Calls to tech support returned fast busy. All calls
> outside the town of Portugal Cove returned fast busy. I went to sleep
> knowing I could reach the local firehall if I needed to.

> Things were chaotic in St John's; virtually ALL telecom was
> affected. There was a fire in a power cable tray on the 2nd floor of
> the (6 floor) Allandale Rd central office and the tech on-site decided
> to cut off power to the entire building to fight it. This prevented
> normal back-up systems and knocked out cell service, most of 911, long
> distance and internet service to the mainland.

> St John's is the capital and largest city on the Island of
> Newfoundland off the east coast of Canada, which has a population of
> more than 500,000. This is the second major outage I have experienced
> here. The first was due to simultaneous cuts to the fibre optics cable
> crossing the island. That one occurred during a labor dispute.

I can tell you from working in a telephone offices and going though the
1971 Sylmar, California Earthquake, the cutting of the power is the only
way to deal with a DC electrical fire in a CO, better to lose service;
which then can be brought back up, then getting hit with 1000 amps or
higher. I had an a capacitor years ago short and got white hot and
exploded in flames. I guess the CO did not have a fire suppression
system in it?

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