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Man charged after arson at Telus building north of Edmonton knocks out service

A photo of an RCMP vehicle.
A photo of an RCMP vehicle. Global News/File

UPDATE: On April 1, 2019, the Alberta government said “all communications systems have been restored,” although “minor disruptions” could still occur until the system was fully repaired.

Telus said customers northwest of Edmonton had services impacted after a deliberately set fire in one of its buildings on Thursday.

The company said vandals broke into its central office in Sangudo, Alta. early that morning and caused significant damage that disrupted service to about 2,000 customers in Lac Ste. County.

READ MORE: 911, telephone, cellphone service restored in part of northeast Alberta

Cell, home phone, Internet and television services were all disrupted by the damage, Telus said.

Emergency services and county buildings were also affected by the vandalism.

Telus said technicians have restored wireless service and more than half of the landlines had been restored.

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“The scene was secured by RCMP late yesterday [Thursday] morning, and our crews were granted access to the central office to begin assessing the damage so that we could determine the quickest way to restore services for our customers,” Telus spokesperson Liz Sauve said.

“Due to the significant damage caused by the vandals, we expected this would be a challenging and lengthy repair.”

READ MORE: Telus says Wednesday night outage affected some landline and wireless customers

Sauve said the company did not have a firm time for all services to be restored but technicians were working “around the clock.”

“Our first priority was to restore services to critical infrastructure such as hospitals, police and fire,” Sauve said.

READ MORE: Remote B.C. community cut off for 2 weeks with no phone, internet

On Friday, Mayerthorpe RCMP said they had arrested Trevor James Fagin, 35, of no fixed address. He was charged with arson, mischief endangering life, and four counts of mischief to property under $5,000.

Fagin is scheduled to appear in court in Stony Plain on Wednesday.