WOAI-TV back on air six hours after fire


SBG / Sinclair Broadcast GroupThe Sinclair Broadcast Group NBC affiliate in San Antonio was off the air more than six hours 3/19 after a fire forced staffers to evacuate their downtown offices during the morning newscast but caused no injuries.

A makeshift set has been set up across the street from WOAI’s office in a parking lot. The set will be used for the stations 4, 5, 6 and 6:30 newscasts.

The fire started about 5 a.m., and broadcasting was suspended. The station didn’t return to the air until 11:10 a.m, reported The San Antonio Express-News.

WOAI returned to local broadcasting with Randy Beamer and Delaine Mathieu anchoring a special 4 p.m. newscast from the temporary set.

Assistant Fire Chief Oscar Gonzalez said flames were shooting out the second floor when firefighters arrived. He said they extinguished the blaze in about an hour, though nearby streets were closed for hours more.

Fire Department spokesman Christian Bove said the cause remained undetermined late Tuesday and officials put the preliminary damage estimate at $600,000.

GM John Seabers told the paper that the fire was contained to the second-floor offices.

See the San Antonio Express-News story here