Tuesday, April 20, 2010

KNUS FM Almost Goes Up In Flames

My first year in radio at KNUS FM was a learning experience to say the least.
It was full of adventures and some misadventures too.

In the KNUS FM original broom closet size control room we had
turntables on counter tops with no supports on the sides under them. 
One was to the left, one to the right, and the DJ sat between them.
They were just fastened to the wall on the back. So, needing space, 
we kept the trash can under the right turntable. 

While I was doing the news on the all night shift,
I had a lit cigarette that I put on the the side of the ash tray that 
was next to the right side turntable while I did the 
news. While I changed out the news introduction 
cartridge for the cartridge with the commercial on it. 
I guess the vibration of that or some kind of 
motion caused the lit cigarette to fall into the trash can that was 
full of paper below.

The next thing was the dreaded smell of smoke in the studio 
coming from the trash can. And, then a full blown blaze was going in seconds. 
What the hell to do then?

I started a record. Arthur Brown's "Fire" which was big at the time 
would have been a good one.
Remember the lyrics? 
"I am the god of hell fire and I bring you:
Fire, I'll take you to burn.
Fire, I'll take you to learn.
I'll see you burn!
You fought hard and you saved and learned,
but all of it's going to burn.
Fire, to end all you've become.
I'll feel you burn!"
That just about said it all.

I pulled the can out as it blazed away under the turntable. 
I was afraid that I was burning the turntable motor or wiring. 
If I did that or burned anything, then I was dead meat. And, God forbid 
that I burn down the whole building. 
Gordon McLendon would not be pleased.

So, I stuck my foot into the blazing can and stomped. 
Thank God, I was wearing boots and not 
the usual thong sandals. Of course, burning ashes blew out of the
hard sided can and flew everywhere in the air, covering everything.
And, I do mean everything. I sheepishly opened the control room door 
and looked outside to see if anyone had seen my misdeed. No one there, 
and happily for me, no fire department either

This happened during the first newscast of the night, so I had all
night to clean up the mess and get rid of the smell. The Custodian 
had left his supply closet unlocked, so, there were a lot of cleaning
supplies and air freshener liquids and sprays.  The all night jock on KLIF 
smelled that something had happened and came over across the twenty or 
so feet that separated our studios, but didn't say a word to anyone.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why smoking should be banned everywhere, indoors and out!