Monday night, August 8, smoke was observed over an equipment shelter near KOLU’s studio at Riverview Baptist Church. This shelter is a “nerve center” of sorts for KOLU, relaying the broadcast signal to our main transmitter on Beck Mountain as well as handling all network traffic in and out of the offices.
By the time the fire department arrived, flames were just starting to appear. The fire was promptly extinguished and damage was minimal, but equipment had to be taken off line quickly to avoid water damage. Things were left to be sorted out Tuesday morning.
Thankfully, most of the equipment was in good shape except for one file server that contained all the information used to run the automation equipment that keeps programming going on at the station. Complicating this, Chief Engineer Martin Gibbs was visiting relatives in Nebraska at the time of the fire.
Once network access was restored, Martin consulted with assistant John Probasco and a plan was worked out to restore Christian Family Radio to the air without automation, meaning that someone had to be at the station 24 hours a day until the file server could be restored. John was able to repair the server, but all the data and programs had to be restored, which was done by Martin remotely from Nebraska (sitting at a dining room table in his brother’s house, no less!).
By Thursday afternoon, most of the operations for the station were restored to normal, although several minor functions are, as of this writing, still being worked on.
Many thanks to Martin, John and all those that put in extra effort to restore Christian Family Radio to full operation. This could have been much more catastrophic for KOLU and Riverview Baptist Church, but the Lord protected these operations with a bit of a reminder that we always need to remain vigilant and that we should always be looking at ways to make our operation more reliable.
Please accept our apologies for not providing this update on our web site at an earlier time. At first, we could not access the web site since it requires going through the equipment that was shut down, then we focused our attention on getting the operation back up again.