Fisher Plaza fire disrupts Web service, TV station
A short-lived fire at Seattle's Fisher Plaza Thursday night caused service disruptions Friday to numerous Web sites, including one that handles transactions for thousands of online merchants. Also affected were KOMO-TV, radio and other stations that broadcast from the plaza.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Who's affected? Blogger Kyle Mulka is keeping a list of Web sites affected or seemingly affected by the fire. Keep up at blog.kylemulka.com
A short-lived fire at Seattle's Fisher Plaza on Thursday night caused service disruptions Friday to numerous Web sites, including one that handles transactions for thousands of online merchants. Also affected were KOMO-TV, radio and other stations that broadcast from the plaza.
The small fire, which broke out around 11 p.m. Thursday at the complex near Seattle Center, apparently began with a failure in KOMO's equipment, which caused a short, said Seattle City Light spokeswoman Connie McDougall.
It happened in the garage level of one of the buildings in Fisher Plaza, at an electrical vault, where KOMO's transformers meet the city's power lines, she said.
Except for the building that houses KOMO, power was restored to everyone on the same electrical feeder grid by 3 a.m. Friday. Power was intentionally left off in the KOMO building so engineers could make repairs to the station's equipment.
Among the multiple Web sites that saw service disrupted by the fire and outage were Microsoft's Bing Travel and Seattle's Mars Hill Church.
A note on Bing Travel's Web site Friday said the disruption was "isolated to Bing Travel only, and there has been no impact to any other aspects of Bing."
Mars Hill's Twitter account said the church's Web site would likely be offline for most of Friday because of the fire.
Also affected was Authorize.net Holdings, based in Marlborough, Mass. The company provides credit-card services for more than 238,000 online merchants.
Authorize.net was unable to process credit-card transactions and its Web site was down for several hours Friday. Both were back up around midday Friday. It's unknown how many merchants using Authorize.net were affected.
Verizon Communications spokesman Jon Davies said the company's DSL service in the Seattle area was temporarily disrupted.
Online-news site TechFlash said the Fisher Plaza data center had experienced a power outage last year, with service going offline after an electrical fire.
The broadcast stations affected, which remained on the air, included KOMO-TV and KUNS-TV, and KOMO 1000 and KPLZ radio. KVI was to resume service as soon as power was restored to the building.
Around 5 p.m. Friday, McDougall said, City Light didn't have information about when it could restore power — that information would have to come from KOMO.
Fisher's statement said company officials, along with engineers and the building's management company, were coordinating with City Light to restore power.
A statement issued Friday evening from Fisher Communications, which owns KOMO and other broadcast stations, said the cause of the electrical fire is still under investigation.
The building houses data and network operations and co-location facilities for several companies. "Fisher regrets any inconvenience these companies or their customers may have experienced as a result of this incident," the statement said.
On Friday, KOMO staffers set up an ad hoc newsroom in a building across the plaza and were broadcasting from remote locations.
At Sport Restaurant & Bar, a sign on the door said the restaurant will be closed this weekend because of the power outage, but would reopen Monday afternoon for dinner.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report. Janet I. Tu: 206-464-2272 or email@example.com
Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company
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