ECS Fire

Big all-hands meeting this morning, with senior University management in attendance (vice-chancellor and registrar). The upshot is that the clean rooms are completely destroyed, and that the top two floors of Mountbatten are badly damaged. The fire spread downwind from the clean rooms to the upper floors of Mountbatten (which is a separate building). The comms group on Mountbatten level four have probably lost almost everything, though the damage is less severe on the north side of the building (facing away from the clean rooms) and towards the Zepler bridge at the east of the building. Mountbatten level three has been flooded. Zepler is virtually undamaged, which is extremely lucky (the wind blew the flames north towards Mountbatten, not east towards Zepler). At worst, it’ll be a little smoky from the ventilation.

The systems look like they’ll be recovered without incident. Zepler will be used as the base for the ECS networks as soon as we have clearance to reoccupy; there’s no point in moving servers out of Zepler to Building 1 in order to set up a presence, only to move them back again a few days later. We have daily backups from Thursday night (Friday night’s were still in the building), so little data from the main servers will have been lost. People’s desktops are another matter. Some hard drives from Mountbatten will be salvageable, depending on location, but those in the clean rooms will most likely be a writeoff.

I’ve just had news that we’re not going to be able to reoccupy Zepler tomorrow, as was originally hoped, and that our systems staff have decided not to try and recover any systems today (they were given a maximum dwell time in the building of one hour, and entrance to the building is strictly on a named-personnel-only basis). So, my mail email won’t be back until tomorrow afternoon at the earliest, and maybe not until later. In the intervening time, I’m using my gmail account (ngibbins at, and I’ll be staying at home tomorrow.

In other news, started her new job in the library here today. Rar.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *