SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – A malfunctioning heating system is being blamed for sending water flowing through the AT&T building in Sacramento overnight, forcing evacuations and nearly knocking out cell service to thousands of customers.

Employees had to evacuate the building at 14th and J streets around 4 Tuesday morning when water began flowing from the second floor down through to the lobby and basement.

The water soaked through ceiling tiles and pooled on the tile floor in the lobby and even seeped outside.

Firefighters say they would normally turn off power to the building in a situation like this, but in this case, it would have knocked out cell service to thousands of AT&T customers.

After inspecting the situation, firefighters determined it was safe to keep power on in the building. They traced the water source back to a malfunctioning equipment system on the second floor.

According to John Britton of AT&T of Northern California, the water impacted a critical switch and knocked out phone service to about 1,100 businesses in downtown Sacramento. The phone service was fully restored by 8:52 a.m.

Employees were allowed back into the building around 6 a.m.


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