Thousands of Verizon customers across the Merrimack Valley lost phone and internet service Monday, when a fire in Lawrence destroyed a critical cable.
Both land lines and cell phone customers were impacted. As of 4:30 p.m., Verizon crews were still working to repair the damage. Service was being restored gradually across the region. There is no timetable for complete service restoration, according to company officials.
According to Tewksbury Police and published reports, the problems began when a mattress under a bridge in Lawrence caught fire early Monday morning. Before being extinguished, the fire burned through a nearby Verizon cable.
Communities impacted by the outages include Tewksbury, Andover, North Andover, Wilmington, Methuen, Lawrence, Littleton and North Reading.
Among those impacted was the Wilmington Registry of Motor Vehicles, which was forced to shut down for the day.
The Registry of Motor Vehicles in Lawrence also experienced a loss of phone service and closed for the day as a result.