new year's day call
I work for a local newspaper and on my first year in the job, received a call on January 1st.
At that point I was used to late night calls, weekend calls, etc.., since this a newspaper, the bulk of the work is done by night, every day.
But some of the older journalist arrived at work very early. Even on January 1st.
I waked at about 8 AM with the soothing ring of the phone.
I answered groggily with something that may have sounded like "what the f*** do you want at this hour!" (remember, it was Jan 1st)
It was the senior editor of the international section, an elderly and respected guy (oops).
He was having some problems with the cable reception. I don't mean cable TV, but old cable news reception.
I asked him to reset the cable reception PC, something that he knew how to do, because the dam thing stalled frequently.
And then he told me, in a very calm voice: "yes, but there is a lot of smoke coming out of the room".
This woke me up in one second.
I dressed as fast as I could and drive there.
When I arrived, the fire was already extinguished, but it had burned a whole cable rack, used to interconnect the reception PCs with the newspaper network.
I removed everything I could from that office, in the hope that the damage was not so severe.
Well... one of the machines digested a LOT of smoke and was dead.
The others were coughing, but recoverable.
After a couple of hours of trying to reach the boss, finally answered his phone:
- Boss, I believe you should come here
- (some words muttered)
- Well... you see... a fire in the cable reception room...
Minutes later he was there.
In that time, some of the maintenance guys have (supposedly) replaced several of the CAT-5 cables, some of the cables connecting the cable receptors with the PCs, etc.
Tried to get everything to run...
And it worked!
We just could not believe our luck.
Then I turned to check the cables: they were not replaced, just welded together and in two cases, twisted together and isolated with scotch tape! (I swear to God I am not making this up!)
But the things were working, so no one would accept anything else.
Later, we discovered the cause of the fire: one of the maintenance guys used the room to take naps (apparently). So he rigged an electric fan to cool the room to his preferred temperature. For some strange reason, he removed a thermostat from the fans electric motor.Then, he left the fan working since Dec. 30.
Predictably, the thing kept working until it started to burn, fell from the fan (burning), and damaged everything surrounding it.
That was some hangover!