Fire at Web host affected Windows Secrets

Brian livingston By Brian Livingston

A serious electrical fire cut power to a large Web hosting company in Seattle, knocking numerous sites off the Internet on July 3 and the early hours of July 4, including WindowsSecrets.com.

All of Windows Secrets’ data was fully backed up, and all subscriptions will continue just as before the power outage, but it took longer to get our site back online than I’d like.

In February 2006, as I described in an article at the time, we upgraded Windows Secrets’ server equipment and relocated it to a secure carrier hotel in Seattle named Fisher Plaza. Our Web host in this building, named Adhost (short for “advanced hosting”), maintains an elaborate system of uninterruptible power supplies and two diesel generators that can supply electricity indefinitely if city utility power is cut.

An electric arc blaze in Fisher Plaza’s basement garage, however, destroyed the connection between the city’s power and the building. The fire forced the evacuation of Adhost and every other company in the building, including KOMO-TV, Seattle’s ABC network affiliate. The station’s newscast that evening stated that the fire reached a temperature of 5,000F/2,760C and melted thick metal plates. (See Figure 1, photo courtesy of KOMO News.)

Fisher plaza fire
Figure 1. The Fisher Plaza fire, which knocked out hundreds of Web sites, was so hot that it melted metal plates in the basement.

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