Flames knock radio station off the air

MARSHALL — A radio station’s AM signal has been off the air since a fire damaged the base of the Marshall Radio Station’s broadcasting tower early Friday morning.

A Marshall police officer discovered the fire behind the station on East College Drive.

“There were three of us working — me, Keith Petermeier, and Ryan Rohlik. We were sitting at our desks when a police officer came up and tapped on the window. The door was locked so he couldn’t get into the station,” Dan Paluch said. He is an employee at the Marshall Radio Station

“He asked if he could come in, and we let him in. He told us about the fire then. The fire department had the fire out and they were gone within an hour,” Paluch said.

The fire is thought to be linked to recent electrical work on the tower, according to Marshall Radio Station Manager Brad Strootman.

“We have been having upgrades and new equipment put into place, and overall the tower was having new parts added to it,” Strootman said. “The fire has no known cause, but we believe it was started by something electrical. A short in the lighting system is what could be the culprit. We have an engineer out assessing the tower.”

Strootman said the damage could’ve been a lot worse.

“It was well under $5,000 worth of damage,” Strootman said.

“KMHL-AM 1400/101.7 was kicked off the air around 5:30 a.m. The AM signal won’t be back up until next week,” Paluch said.

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