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Water damage causes a fire in a BT exchange in London's Soho
Tuesday 21 December 2010 12:02:44 by John Hunt

A fire has occurred in the Gerrard Street telephone exchange in central London (Soho) which has knocked out service to customers in the area, affecting phone lines, broadband connections and other services from the exchange. The BT Service Status page, which has recorded the problem since 5am, says the problem was caused by water damage from an adjacent building which caused an interruption to the power supply. The BTCare twitter user posted a photo to their Flickr page which shows some of the damage:

Engineers are on site and are working to repair the damage as soon as possible but thousands of customers are thought to have been affected.

"BT can confirm that water damage has disrupted power supply to an exchange in the west end of London. A number of customers in Central London are currently experiencing a loss of service. Following clearance from the Fire Brigade, BT's engineers are on site and working around the clock to repair the electrical cabling damage and restore service as quickly as possible. BT would like to apologise to all customers impacted.

Given the complexity of the damage, it is not yet possible to accurately predict when all services will be fully restored. BT will issue further updates as the situation changes."

BT Spokesman

The following dialling codes have been affected. 0203206, 0203214, 0203230, 0203238, 0207292, 0207434, 0207437, 0207439, 0207734, 0207851, 0207439 with possible problems to some other 020 London numbers.

Update: Wednesday 22/12/2010
All services have now been restored following this fire and if any users are still seeing problems, it is recommended they report a fault through their usual support channels for their service.


Posted by MrGrumpy over 6 years ago
Boy that must have been some fire to burn out the HV switch!
Posted by mhc over 6 years ago

Next time someone complains about BT Technicians they should be pointed to this and reminded that the Technicians WILL be working on this coming Saturday and Sunday, if required,to restore services.
Posted by krazykizza over 6 years ago
Someone must of pulled the switch! -
Posted by kijoma over 6 years ago
OMG resilience!, surely the backup systems took over?. Good to hear the techs will be working this weekend, if required?!?, i think they may be, don't you? . So no phone or broadband for thousands over xmas possibly? . hail for VoIP and fixed wireless :)
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
I gather all services were restored the same day, so looks like the engineers did what was required very quickly.
Posted by mrnelster over 6 years ago

Due to pressure from insurance companies, commercial periodic electrical inspections now tend to incorporate infra red surveys to locate such latent defects before a fire can start.
Posted by creakycopperline over 5 years ago
that thing looks like it was made in the 50's
were'nt bt supposed to invest?
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