Fire hits downtown radio station

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Kalispell firefighters extinguished a fire at the KOFI broadcast studio on First Avenue East late Wednesday night.

The fire took three radio stations off the air until Thursday morning.

The fire was reported via a 911 call at about 11:46 p.m.

“The first arriving engine company reported a working structure fire upon finding heavy smoke when entering the building. An offensive fire attack was initiated quickly extinguishing the fire in the area of fire origin,” Fire Chief Dave Dedman said in a press release about the incident.

Fire and smoke damage is estimated at about $15,000.  

On Thursday morning, station manager Dave Rae said the fire started in an electric meter box in the building’s lower level.

“Luckily we’re right across the street from the Kalispell Fire Department. It could have been a lot worse,” he said.

Electricians worked Thursday to get a generator running to power the building so the studio’s three stations — 94.3 The Lake, 103.9 The Monster and 1180 KOFI — could get back on the air.

“It’s just a lot of cleanup from there,” Rae said.

Assistance in the firefighting effort was received from Kalispell Police Department, Evergreen Fire Department, Whitefish Fire Department, Flathead County Dispatch Center and Flathead Electric Cooperative.

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