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Engineers are working diligently to get essential systems back up-and-running, after a fire at the Shaw Court building in downtown Calgary caused a communications nightmare, Wednesday.
Fire Chief Bruce Burrell is director of Calgary's Emergency Management Agency. He says he's never seen a technological breakdown quite like this before.
"It's quite interesting," Burrell says. "It's amazing the amount of reliance we all place on technology, but it's also quite amazing that when you start talking to people, we're all quite adept at going back."
A generator has been brought in to help determine the extent of the damage.
In the meantime, about 30,000 Shaw customers in Calgary's downtown cannot dial 9-1-1, and the city's 3-1-1 phone service is down.
IBM used space in the building as well, affecting many of their customers including Alberta Health Services, whose systems are top priority.
"We need to get that network up probably as our first priority," Burrell explains. "Right now they're saying it has no impact on patient care, but it will when they start looking at scheduling surgeries for the morning."
There's still no word on what exactly caused the problem that crippled the building. (scb/td/ap)