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Multiple customers knocked offline as firefighters tackle flames at Telstra's London Hosting Centre bit barn

Third-floor UPS suspected

A fire that broke out this morning at Telstra's London Hosting Centre (LHC) bit barn in the English capital has disrupted customers' services, with a fire crew called to tackle the flames.

An email to clients, seen by The Register, was sent by SIP and hosted telephony provider Voiceflex that confirmed its hosted servers were offline.

"All powered equipment in Telstra LHC went offline at 09.17 BST. We have been informed there are multiple fire engines on site and a suspected UPS fire on the third floor where our comms equipment is located. It seems most likely the fire brigade have ordered building power down as part of electrical safety precaution," the warning stated.

"As far as we are aware, this affects all customers and carriers within LHC, and we have confirmation that other carriers with passive connections extending outside the building are also showing offline. This is affecting their customers who are directly terminated with active circuits at this location."

The message from the Voiceflex Support Team concluded by confirming that "all passive fibre connections remain unaffected, including those passing through the building."

The company said in a recorded message on its helpline that "due to a localised fire, we have lost the green system: this provides power to the lower half of the building. The fire has tripped the breakers supporting the bus bar. Engineers are on site and working to restore power via generator as we speak."

The London Fire Brigade (LFB) confirmed on Twitter it was called at 08:31 UK time and had sent a team to Greenwich View PI on the Isle of Dogs, the address of the Telstra LHC.

The LFB confirmed an hour ago that the fire was "under control" and that a "small part of a supply room in a data storage centre was damaged by fire. There are no reports of any injuries."

It added that the "cause of the fire is under investigation".

Telstra has not itself acknowledged the fire on Twitter and repeated calls by El Reg to its London office failed.

The site of the data centre was operational from 1999 and is understood to have been the first to sell an alternative colocation facility to Telehouse. The data centre was originally owned by PSINet but the business filed for Chapter 11 in 2001 and was bought by Telstra in 2004. The facility provides 106,000 sq ft of technical capacity spread across nine floors and can host more than 1,800 racks, according to Telstra. ®

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