I am somewhat familiar with an ARTCC (Air Route Traffic Control Center's) power conditioning , Backup Battery & Engine Generator System. .... Not the Airport System ...
But if an Airport's systems are anything like those at an ARTCC .... it would have.
1. Multiple (:Multi-Fuel) Engine Generators.
2. One or more Rooms full of Backup Batteries
3. A highly Complex solid state Power conditioning system
4. All of which feed ... at least two power buss(es) ... ie Critical & Essential.
The description of what happened ... is too vague ..
but I would suggest that if the fire was in a tunnel .....
through which these (Output) Power Buss(es) passed ..... All Would Be Lost . anyway.
These Systems can only sense and respond properly to .... the loss of power that FEEDS these systems
Hope this makes sense ... in plain English ... If you cut, melt, or burn the copper after it leaves the
primary or backup sources .... you got yourself an Atlanta Problem.
Until the question about the precise location of the fire .... I would suggest that the article is nonsense.