Fire Takes Down Phone Service in De Luz

NBC 7 Responds helps restore phone service to community hit by wildfires.

Flames from the Rock Fire in Northern San Diego County were only feet from Beryl Dusenberry’s home.

Firefighters extinguished the fire before reaching Dusenberry’s home, however, not before the fire damaged the phone lines nearby.

Dusneberry says she and her neighbors in the rural community consider those phone lines as their main source for communication.

“People depend on their landlines,” Dusenberry told NBC 7 Responds. “We’re acres and acres apart and there are groves that separate us. We need our landline.”

But that important connection was knocked out during the July 28 Rock Fire. 

Dusenberry called her telephone provider AT&T to inform them about the outage. 

“When I called them, they didn’t even know there was a fire here,” said Dusenberry.

Dusenberry says representatives from AT&T told her that crews would fix the problem, but not until September.

“This could be a matter of life and death, especially since we’ve had almost ten fires within a two-mile radius in the last two months,” says Dusenberry. “Why is the response so slow? Is it because we’re out here and there’s not a thousand customers without a landline?”

Dusenberry says shortly after speaking with AT&T she decided to call NBC 7 Responds for help.

NBC 7 Responds contacted AT&T about the disconnected line and explained the potential safety issues. Less than 24-hours later, Dusenberry says a crew arrived outside of her home.

“I have a dial tone,” wrote Dusenberry hours after crews arrived. “Wowee! thank you! That was service served up with a smile on a silver platter!

A spokesperson for AT&T confirmed that phone service was restored. The company did not provide any additional comments.

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