Air-conditioning unit smokes out studios

20:00, Dec 13 2013

Manawatu radio shows were off the air for about an hour after an air-conditioning unit broke down and spewed smoke through the MoreFM and The Breeze studios.

Two fire engines, including a ladder truck, were called out to the smoke-logged Mediaworks building in Rangitikei St about 7.30am yesterday.

Palmerston North station officer Mark Cooper said an overheated air-conditioning unit was responsible for the smoke on the third floor of the building, where the studios where located. "There was no fire, just a burnt-out air-conditioning unit," Mr Cooper said.

"We searched the building for the cause of the smoke using a thermal imaging camera, lifting ceiling tiles."

Mr Cooper said the fire was out when the fire service arrived.

"It was scary for the people working in the building but it was just a matter of finding the source of the smoke to make sure there was no fire," he said.


MoreFM and The Breeze breakfast shows were running without hosts for about an hour while fire crews assessed the building.

More FM DJ Mike West was the first to smell the smoke, which rapidly filled the building.

"About 7.30am I was walking down to the kitchen to make a coffee and I smelled this smoky smell," he said. ". . . We rang 111 and they told us to get out of the building.

"We were out for about an hour, but we were back broadcasting from about 8.35am," he said.

Manawatu Standard