MANCHESTER – Time Warner cable crews scrambled to repair equipment that burned in a grass fire Friday with two goals in mind: get service restored to customers across the region and get it done before the evening Boston Red Sox game.

The trouble began shortly after noon Friday when the grass fire burned a utility pole and fiber used by Time Warner, spokesman Pete DeWitt said. The subsequent outage affected customers in more than two dozen towns, from Belgrade to Paris.

In all, an estimated 27,000 customers lost their cable service, a significant number of them in Lewiston, Auburn, Sabattus and the surrounding area.

Many of them called the utility or the Sun Journal to ask whether cable service would be back in time for the game at 7:10 p.m.

At 3:30 p.m., DeWitt said Time Warner crews, working with Central Maine Power and public safety officials, began to splice lines.

DeWitt said 372 individual fibers burned in the fire. Each of them had to be spliced, which contributed to the time of the repairs.

Cable service was restored to most customers by about 5 p.m., more than two hours before the Sox took the field against the Baltimore Orioles. By the time the game got underway, many Sox fans might have wished they missed it – by the second inning, Boston was losing 7-0.


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