A fire on a transmission pole temporarily shut down Cambridge Avenue in Palo Alto Tuesday morning (Feb. 1) and severed phone and Internet service to some Comcast and AT&T customers into the afternoon.
The blaze began at about 9:50 a.m. in communications equipment and wiring attached to a pole on the north side of the street in front of 400 Cambridge, Palo Alto Fire Department Battalion Chief Chris Woodard said.
Firefighters evacuated employees from 376 to 410 Cambridge as chunks of insulation and other debris dropped to the ground. The fire emitted an acrid, sulfur smell. The buildings and adjacent electrical transformers were not in danger, Woodard said.
Inspectors do not yet know what caused the fire. Woodard said utilities workers checked the lines after firefighters extinguished the flames. AT&T spokesman John Britton said workers expected to complete repair of the lines by Wednesday.
The fire did not effect electricity to any city customers, Mary Coady, communications manager for the city's utilities administration, said. The problem appeared to be in AT&T's lines.
Network technicians from Comcast said customers had service restored quickly. They completed their work by about 1:45 p.m. and AT&T technicians were to begin their work thereafter.
Three fire engines, several police cars and the battalion chief's vehicle were called to the scene. Cambridge was temporarily shut down from El Camino Real to Birch Street.