The Government Gateway experienced a second day of inaction today.
The Web site, plugged as the cornerstone of e-government in the UK, went down yesterday morning.
At first a representative blamed the problem on maintenance, but later stated it was actually due to the power supply at the data centre "overheating".
Today it was finally admitted there had been "a small fire" that affected the power supply.
"This incident was contained in a small area. The Gateway was taken offline temporarily in order to minimise the risk - to both personnel and infrastructure," the government stated.
The representative added that the site, which is hosted by Cable & Wireless, had been taken down temporarily and that other sites hosted there (also top secret) were also down.
Meanwhile, Cable & Wireless denies that any other sites have been affected - it claims it is solely a problem with the Government Gateway site.
It is hoped the Web site, which was expected to be up and running by 9am, will be online later today. ®