Seattle fire knocks out service to Bing Travel, other sites

At least two dozen sites experience protracted outage following Thursday night electrical fire at Fisher Plaza data center. Verizon's Seattle-area DSL service also gets temporarily disrupted.

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Tenants of the Fisher Plaza data center carry servers out of the building Friday morning. The building houses the Bing Travel servers, among others. TechFlash

Update at 3:30 p.m. PDT July 4: Power was restored to Fisher Plaza early Saturday morning with back-up generators, and many sites are back online, including Bing Travel, according to TechFlash.

Update at 4:51 p.m. PDT July 3 The fire's start time and a statement from Fisher Communications were added.

An electrical fire at downtown Seattle's Fisher Plaza has interrupted service at a long roster of Web sites, including Microsoft's Bing Travel and Authorize.net.

Fisher Communications said in statement Friday that the problems at the Fisher Plaza data center started in a garage-level electrical room at approximately 11:10 p.m. Thursday night. Fisher said the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Some of the affected sites put up messages explaining what had happened. "The blown transformer knocked out power to the entire building, which is home to the Bing Travel servers," a message on Bing Travel said. "This is isolated to Bing Travel only, and there is no impact to any other aspect of Bing."

Bing Travel said it's working hard to restore service, and set 5 p.m. PDT Friday as the target time for resumption of service (it did not meet that goal). "In the meantime, you may use Microsoft travel partner Orbitz for your travel needs," the site said.

TechFlash reporter Todd Bishop has arrived on the scene and is posting updates.

Bishop notes that this isn't the first outage at the Fisher Plaza data center--service went offline last year as well after an electrical fire. The Fisher Plaza Web site also was down as of this writing, but a cached version says:

Fisher Plaza is the only mission-critical business community in the Northwest combining Class A office, data center, colocation, and retail space with 21st century communications and media services.

"Pretty frustrating," writes one TechFlash poster. "I understand problems happen, but this the second time in a year that we have had to explain to our customers about an outage. This is supposed to be a 'world class' facility. Brings up a lot of questions that are still unanswered from the last outage."

Among other sites impacted--see Kyle Mulka's blog for a list of affected sites and their current status--online real estate service Redfin suffered an outage last night, but was back up Friday morning, according to TechFlash. Fisher Plaza is also home to Seattle's KOMO-TV and KOMONews.com, which reports that the server farm fire also impacted television and radio broadcasts. As a result, KOMO Radio and KOMO-TV are broadcasting Friday from remote locations.

Verizon Communications spokesman Jon Davies said the fire also temporarily disrupted Verizon's Seattle-area DSL service. About 50,000 customers in Oregon and Washington lost Internet connectivity, Davies told TechFlash.

On Friday afternoon, Fisher said it's bringing in electrical generators to restore power to the building, at which time it can further assess the situation. "The company is working to restore normal service to its customers as soon as possible," Fisher said.

MotherJones was yet another site taken down by the fire. Others: Big Fish Games, Dotster, Tom's of Maine.