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Fire disrupts phone, Internet service in Franklin County

July 10, 2009

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- The Franklin County Department of Emergency Services said there were reports of phone and Internet outages in parts of the county Friday.

A dispatcher said the outage appears to be connected to a brush fire on Thursday night.

The fire was reported at about 10:30 p.m. on Thursday in the Green Village area, between Chambersburg and Shippensburg, the dispatcher said.

The Department of Emergency Services was encouraging people to make sure they have phone or Internet service in case they need to reach someone in an emergency.

Fred DeAndrea, a spokesman for Comcast, said the fire damaged the company's cable lines. Comcast sent technicians to the scene on Thursday, but they weren't able to work on the lines because of the fire.

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DeAndrea said affected customers in the Shippensburg area should have their service back Friday afternoon.

Stephanie Meisse, a spokeswoman for Embarq, which offers phone and Internet service, said fiber-optic cable and copper wiring were burned.

All of Embarq's services were restored by 1 p.m. Friday, Meisse said.

She wasn't sure how many customers were affected, but said outages appeared to be sporadic throughout the county and might also be in Cumberland County, Pa., and in Washington County.

Some customers were reporting phone problems but had Internet service and vice versa, Meisse said.

Allegheny Power has not experienced any problems due to the fire, spokesman Todd Meyers said.

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