ALMOST 300 people were left without phone and internet access in the Somerton area yesterday after fire destroyed a house and badly damaged a Telstra phone exchange unit.
Technicians were working around the clock to restore fixed phone lines, mobile 3G and ADSLinternet to about 270 affected customers after residents were left without access from early yesterday morning.
Rural Fire Service crews from Somerton and Rushes Creek were called to the blaze at the Scotland Street home just before 1.30am, but when they arrived they found it well alight.
The home was burnt to the ground but fire officials say the house was vacant at the time and being
The investigation into the fire has been hampered by toxic asbestos which was found inside the home.
Fire crews finished at the scene about 5.30am but were back at the site late yesterday to hose down asbestos particles. This ensured Telstra technicians were able to work safely to install a mobile exchange to get service back up and running for residents.
Firefighters said the inside of the
Telstra exchange was severely damaged because of the intense heat of the blaze next door.
Telstra area general manager Tricia Wilson said crews were working around the clock to cross power over to the new mobile exchange and restore the service to customers as quickly as possible.
She said anyone who was still experiencing difficulty today should contact the Telstra faults hotline.
“Our absolute priority is to get
customers back on the air and then we’ll start working on a permanent solution very soon,”she said.