Studios destroyed in fire at Bristol’s BCfm

Bristol community radio station BCfm has resumed broadcasting following a fire which has destroyed its main studio in the city.

The fire appears to have started in the corner of the studio in the Easton Community Centre, shortly after 11am today (Thursday), while a presenter was live on air. The alarm was quickly raised and everyone got out of the building safely. Avon Fire and Rescue Service says 20 adults and 30 children escaped unharmed.

A video posted on the station’s Facebook page shows the extent of the damage caused by the fire. In it, the presenter on air at the time, Tony, describes what happened. “Smoke suddenly appeared on my left hand side, smoke was coming up from behind the cabinet,” he said. “I opened the cabinet doors to see if there was a switch or anything I could turn off, nothing appeared that I could do anything with. There was no obvious flames at this point. The next thing was the room started filling with smoke so I went out to get the reception to call the fire brigade.”

In another post, BCfm said: “We are devastated to announce our studio and most of our broadcast equipment at Easton Community Centre has been destroyed. The fire broke out during a live broadcast of our Silversound Show at approx 11am this morning – thankfully neither our presenter Tony nor anyone else in the building was injured.

“The whole building was evacuated and is currently without power. Initial thoughts are that that the fire was caused by an electrical fault but this is yet to be confirmed. Our thanks go to staff and colleagues in the building and Avon Fire & Rescue Service for handling the situation so well.”

The station later tweeted on Thursday evening that broadcasts had resumed on FM, DAB and online, though normal programmes are likely to be affected for the immediate future.

BCfm launched full-time operating with a community radio licence in March 2007.

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  1. Craig Strong says

    Pleased for the team that they were evacuated.
    It reminds me of when there was a bomb threat at a station that I worked on, there had been a lot of bombings going on, and I was on air when the phone went.
    It was an Irish voice, informing me that a bomb had been planted in the building that we shared with an entertainment venue in the centre of Derby.
    The police said I was to evacuate, but the programme controller insisted that I stay, assuming it was a hoax.

    The police then became very insistent with me, and ordered me to go, seemingly to the annoyance of the programme controller.

    He saw fit to rollock me, you know what for?
    Putting the wrong emergency tape on!

    1. Graham says

      Well done, just shows the dedication to community radio.

    2. Mr Boltar says

      TBH your programme controller sounds like an ass if he wanted to ignore police advice.

      Shame about the fire at BCfm but at least no one was hurt and thats the most important thing. Equipment can be replaced, people can’t.

  2. Stuart says

    Maybe one of the big groups who are currently closing studios could donate some of their redundant kit to them?

    1. Ted says

      Yes such a shame. That would be a nice gesture.

    2. Steve says

      I think Big Groups decommission their equipment (read destroy) so that the equipment does not end up in a competitors hands, possibly? Which is a shame, I guess if you have ever witnessed perfectly good mixing desks etc skipped – it might break your heart.

    3. Ian Scott says

      That would be very supportive ting to do.

      I hope someone in high places at the groups can be pointed to this story.

    4. David says

      Never hurts to ask if companies have equipment going spare. When GMG refitted a studio in Nottingham some years ago. I got a desk a set of studio mics and loads of other stuff for a student station.

      A lot of station engineers are very kind people. There’s nothing to lose from asking.

    5. Radio Geordie says

      They (or the BBC) could loan them a spare studio until the station is able to return to the building. It will at least keep them on the air in the short term.

  3. Alan Hall says

    I do hope that BCFM get things sorted out as soon as. They used the same D&R mixers we use at our hospital radio station. And I hope D&R will repair the mixers that BCFM use.
    The big question is, what caused the terrible fire.

    1. Mr Boltar says

      Repair? I doubt it. Looking at the video all that equipment is (literally) toast. If the heat and smoke didn’t get it then the water from the fire hoses will have. The only place that lot is going is the skip IMO.

  4. Alan Hall says

    Thinking of you guys.

  5. Mr Boltar says

    From watching the video I can see a hell of a lot of plugs plugged into one plug block, huge amounts of other mains wiring and one 2 plug wall socket. I’d start looking at the fuse ratings…

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