Fire knocks Fairbanks radio station off the air

One person escaped uninjured after a fire broke out Monday night at a building in Fairbanks housing a radio station.

The fire at 1010 College Road was first reported at about 7:30 p.m. The building included apartments, an electronics shop called Radio Fairbanks where the blaze began, and KRFF 89.1 FM, an arts and entertainment station known as the "Voice of Denali," Fairbanks Fire Department Assistant Chief Ernie Misewicz said in a statement.

"There was one person in the building at the time of the fire," Misewicz wrote. "They were in an apartment upstairs (and) escaped uninjured."

Misewicz said Tuesday that the resident of the apartment, who is receiving assistance from the Red Cross, had to leave the building along its exterior.

"When he opened the door to the apartment, there was smoke in the hallway," Misewicz said. "He went out the window and climbed down an antenna mast right next to his window."

Misewicz said arriving firefighters, backed up by crews from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fort Wainwright and Steese fire departments, found "heavy smoke and heat" in the building. Although the fire was brought under control within 90 minutes, crews remained at the scene until at least midnight extinguishing hot spots.

Staff at KRFF said that the station had been off the air since power to the building was cut during the fire.

Radio Fairbanks suffered extensive fire damage, with smoke damage found throughout the rest of the building. Misewicz said the building wasn't declared a total loss, with no cost estimate for damages from the fire yet made.

It wasn't immediately clear when KRFF would resume broadcasting, pending further assessment Tuesday.

Chris Klint

Chris Klint is a former ADN reporter who covered breaking news.