Damage from Fisher Plaza Fire: $6.8 Million

A 2009 fire at the Fisher Plaza data center hub in Seattle caused $6.8 million in damages, with building owner Fisher Communications recovering about $5.8 million from insurers.

A 2009 fire at the Fisher Plaza data center hub in Seattle caused $6.8 million in damages, with building owner Fisher Communications recovering about $5.8 million from insurers. The financial impact of the outage was documented by TechFlash, which noted the insurance settlement disclosures from Fisher Communications' third quarter earnings statements.

The July 2, 2009 incident knocked payment processor Authorize.net offline, disrupting e-commerce for thousands of web sites, while also causing lengthy downtime for Microsoft’s Bing Travel service, domain registrar Dotster, colocation company Internap and web hosting provider AdHost,

An investigation by Power Science Engineering Inc. of Shoreline, Wash. found that the fire was probably caused by an insulation failure in an electrical bus duct that connected the building to the power grid. The failure of two bus ducts – enclosures housing copper bars to conduct electricity – in a basement power room of Fisher Plaza was likely caused by “progressive degradation” of insulation, which ultimately led the bus duct to fail.

In its latest earnings report, Seattle-based Fisher Communications says its primary property insurance carrier agreed to pay an additional $2.9 million to cover its losses at Fisher Plaza data center. Fisher had previously received a total of $2.9 million in reimbursements, bringing its total recovery to $5.8 million. Fisher previously reported that it incurred $6.8 million in cash expenses related to the fire, including remediation and capital projects.

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