Emergency services were called this morning to put out a fire at a data center operated by Australian telecommunications provider Telstra, located in London’s Isle of Dogs.

The lower half of the facility, which offers 114,000 square feet of white space and has the capacity for 1,800 racks in total, has been confirmed to be offline by the company.

telstra docklands google street view.jpg
Telstra's Docklands site (2018) – Google Street view

Fire Brigade called

A message on the company’s Docklands office answering machine said the site has “lost the green system” providing its power, as the fire tripped the bus bar breakers. The message adds that “Engineers are on site and working to restore power by generator as we speak.”

At 9:26am, the London Fire Brigade tweeted that four fire engines and 25 crew members were deployed to the Greenwich View Place site in London’s South East.

It posted again ten minutes later to confirm that just a small part of a supply room was damaged in the incident, and that no injuries were reported.

Unconfirmed reports obtained by CBR rumour that the fire was triggered by a faulty Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), which, incidentally, is what caused an outage in one of colocation provider Equinix’s data centers earlier this month, affecting not just LD8 but other facilities, causing packet loss and increased latency at the company’s Telehouse North site.

UPS fires in data centers aren’t uncommon, (and sometimes the systems simply fail, to similarly disastrous consequences).

Fire prevention can wreak havoc in data centers, too: in 2017, Glasgow City Council, Microsoft and an unnamed London college all suffered outages caused by the accidental activation of their gas fire suppression systems.

We called Telstra’s UK offices for comment but were unable to reach anyone to elaborate on the incident.