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Joined: 2008/5/23
Posts: 611
Monroe, LA - USA

 House Fire Cuts Off Service

Psalm 146:5 Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the LORD his God:

Psalm 146:6 Which made heaven, and earth, the sea, and all that therein is: which keepeth truth for ever:

Psalm 146:7 Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The LORD looseth the prisoners:

I was reminded again yesterday of just how FRAGILE our society is that we are so comfortable with. Our company was one that did without internet for nearly a whole day all because of one little house fire in a run-down part of town. Thousands were affected.

If this could happen on an accidental basis to affect thousands of people, one can only imagine what the outcome would be if a willful attack were to come against our communication systems. In a single day, our lives could drastically change for the whole society of this nation.

If our hope is FULLY rooted and grounded in the Lord, such a change would only be like “a bump in the road”, because our hope is entirely in the Lord.

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An AT&T worker repairs a line following a house fire in the 2300 block of DeSiard Street in Monroe.

September 22, 2009

House fire cuts off services

Comcast, CenturyLink, AT&T disrupted

By Stephen Largen
[email protected]

An early morning house fire in the 2300 block of DeSiard Street melted aerial fiber-optic cable, knocking out cable, telephone and Internet services for many customers in the area for most of Monday.

Nearly 5,000 Comcast Cable customers were affected, along with an unknown number of CenturyLink customers and a few dozen AT&T customers.

Each of the providers said service was restored by the middle of the afternoon for most customers and was expected to be restored to the rest by early Monday night.

Monroe Fire Department Chief Fire Investigator David Hill said a vacant house with no utilities turned on was destroyed. The fire started around 2 a.m. Hill said investigators do not know how the fire started, and so far have no witnesses or suspects. But investigators are operating under the assumption that the fire was caused by human activity, whether intentional or accidental.

"We're going to treat it as an arson," he said.

Frances Smith, director of government affairs for Comcast, said crews worked all day Monday to cut away the destroyed fibers and install new wiring.

Comcast serves 34,000 customers in the Monroe area.

Major CenturyLink telephone customers the University of Louisiana at Monroe and both campuses of St. Francis Medical Center lost telephone service and had to rely on cellular telephones, two-way radios and e-mail to communicate.

St. Francis Medical Center spokeswoman Stacy Temple said the campuses communicated using cellular telephones and Walkie Talkies, but patient care was not affected by the outage.

"We were still functioning and delivering quality care," she said.

ULM spokeswoman Laura Woodard said the telephone outage only lasted half a day, and the university family worked using e-mail and cellular telephones.

CenturyLink spokeswoman Annmarie Sartor said the company was unsure of exactly how many customers were affected in the area (CenturyLink's corporate headquarters was not affected by the outage), but said that service was restored for almost all customers by midday Monday.

Additional Facts

By the numbers

· Comcast serves 34,000 customers in the mOnroe area.

· Nearly 5,000 Comcast customers, an unknown number of CenturyLink customers and a few AT&T customers suffered outages due to a house fire.


Michael Strickland

 2009/9/22 13:50Profile

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