Hearne: Star Dodges Poison Gas Bullet in Newsroom Nightmare

About that Kansas City Star fire drill Wednesday…

"We had a crazy evacuation," says a staffer of the early morning smoke out.  "I walked in at 8:40 a.m. and there was a haze in the newsroom and the fire alarms were going off. Apparently there was a freon leak. And the first floor was all hazy, too."

Now the scary part…

"The fire alarms were going off for half an hour before anybody called the fire department," says the source.

"That’s true," adds another staffer. "Everybody was standing around outside when I got to work and the fire department didn’t come for a long time. And they’re like – what? – three blocks away."

With cutbacks at 18th and Grand – including apparently alarm monitoring – Star security dropped the ball by not promptly calling the fire department.

Fortunately, however, there was no fire and the historic downtown ediface did not burn down or explode.

That brings us to the oddly apologetic reporting of the incident by the Pitch

"I took pictures of The Star employees milling around while waiting for the all-clear," writes Pitch blogger Ben Palosaari. "Not terribly interesting, I know. But I walked over there, which totally interrupted what I was working on. So I don’t want to waste the effort. Plus, finding the camera’s computer cord was a real hassle. But I finally found it, so it would be dumb not to post them at this point."

Which may explain Palosaari’s erroneous claim that,  "It’s a good thing they identified what was wrong quickly. According to LiveStrong, inhaling freon is terrible for your health."

To the contrary…

As Palosaari might have learned had he not been busy fussing with his camera cord,the Star was extremely fortunate no one was injured, given the fire department was called only as an apparent after thought.

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6 Responses to Hearne: Star Dodges Poison Gas Bullet in Newsroom Nightmare

  1. Super Dave says:

    The Star Was Hoping
    Oh they thought it was a real fire and was wanting it to get going good before making the call. Be one way for them to bow out and shut the paper down without looking bad. See the headlines now Star is No More. The Kansas City Star burned to the ground Thursday morning after fire started in the building and by the time the fire dept arrived they had to go into a surround and drown mode.

  2. chuck says:

    STOP THE PRESSES!!!!!
    Those reporters were burning up their IBM Selectrics with breaking stories and the joint almost burned down!!

    The guy on Steve Penn’s Hot Type machine is off of the hook. He rarely has to re set anything, his ‘Monotype Composition Caster’ is already set to include phrases like “Y’all be racists!” He is off of the hook.

    No one has been mad enough at the Star for 15 years to firebomb it, so its gotta be the Selectrics spontaneously combusting while Jenee Osterheldt penns another ode to Oprah, Mary Sanchez cries for legalization of aliens from Mexico, Mars and M41, or the the Grand Sachems at INK Magazine, making another run at a Pulitzer.

    With that new E Tax, and all those extra firemen, the mayor is set to station firefighters along side each and every reporter, as they pound out scathing indictments, starlting exposes (After they check the blogs and look at the News on Television.) and the required crime stories (sans the actual descriptions of the criminals, cause, you know…).

    Whew!

    That coulda been a hell of a loss.

  3. Cliffy says:

    Yawn …
    Where’s Greg?

  4. Brian says:

    Greg got smart and left. Which is what I am doing. This site sucks.

  5. Java Man says:

    Thanks for the link, Kelvin
    At least they could tell us he was on “vacation”.

  6. Hearne Christopher says:

    Ask and you shall receive. He’s on vacation!

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