Verizon works to restore fire-damaged network in Lawrence, Mass.

Verizon (NYSE: VZ) on Monday began work on restoring services in the Lawrence, Mass. area following a fire under the Central Bridge on North Canal Street that caused damage to a number of the telco's area cables.

Many of the telco's customers in surrounding towns and cities located northwest of Boston, including Andover, Lawrence, Littleton, Methuen, North Andover, North Reading and Tewksbury, have also lost some services due to the fire. In addition, some business and government customers' voice and data services may be affected.

Since the fire took place early Monday morning, the service provider's crews have been splicing new cables, informing state and local officials, and have rerouted emergency lines for the local fire and police stations.

The service provider said it has set up trailers at the location of the fire with crews working "in round-the-clock shifts until all services are restored."

Verizon said it will provide another update on the restoration effort in Lawrence on Tuesday, Aug. 28.

In an update given to the media this morning (Aug. 28), Verizon said that while the work to restore service is complex because technicians are splicing thousands of individual copper and fiber optic connections, the restoration effort is on track.  

"Verizon crews worked through the night and made very good progress on restoring service for our customers," said Allison Cole, Verizon president of operations in New England. "We have already restored critical network operational and surveillance circuits, high-capacity fiber backbone circuits, and worked with state and local officials to ensure that all 911 services are fully operational in the area."

Last week, the service provider's network suffered an outage outside Baltimore when a derailed train damaged the telco's facilities at the accident site, interrupting some customers' voice and data services.

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