KREX-TV burns down

Courtesy: David Jones

CBS affiliate KREX-TV in Grand Junction, Colo. (and LMA sister stations, Fox affiliate KFQX, and low-power My Net affiliate KGJT) were destroyed Sunday in a massive fire that destroyed the building and studios and knocked the analog over-the-air signal off the air.

The fire broke out at 8:30a.m. and consumed the station entirely. Station equipment, the video library, and business records were lost, with damages totaling $6 million (reports indicate that some master archive tapes did survive the fire.) The fire continued continued to smolder Sunday evening, with firefighters putting out hot spots in the rubble.

Five employees at the station escaped the fire unharmed. There were no injuries. The cause of the fire has not been determined, but the feds are now being called in to investigate.

Over-the-air viewers weren’t able to view the AFC and NFC Championship Games, but cable and satellite viewers did get raw CBS and Fox network feeds.

There is no word when KREX and its sister stations will resume broadcasting.

This is not the first time this has happened. In 1990, NBC affiliate WLBM-TV in Meridian, Miss. was destroyed by fire and its signal was knocked out, leaving non-cable viewers in most of Eastern Mississippi without a NBC affiliate (cable operators did provide Meridian viewers with the NBC feed of WDAM-TV from nearby Hattiesburg.) The station (and NBC) returned to the air in Meridian in 1991 as WGBC-TV.