I'd just hung up the phone. I heard laughter coming from the 10 p.m. newscast meeting in the news directors office. The rest of the newsroom was relatively quiet, even the scanners.


Blared from the ceiling. The fire alarm was going off.

No one moved except the assistant news director who came out of the meeting to look around. She looked at me and I said, "I'll call the security guard."

Security guard, "I think it's the main water line."
Me, "So I don't have to evacuate the building?"
Security guard, "Oh thought you were David."

That really didn't tell me if there was a fire somewhere else in the building and that we should evacuate. I just shrugged my shoulders at the AD. "Want me to send a photographer?" She smiled and went back into the meeting.

When the sirens from the firetrucks were heard, a couple of my coworkers wandered to the window to watch them arrive. Still no one left the building.

Thoughts in my head (those that I could hear as the blaring alarms continued well after the fire fighters arrived) included: call the PIO? call our building supervisor? flee the building and fling myself into the arms of a fireman?

The alarms finally stopped, yet still vibrated through my head. I guess there was no fire.

Soon after the scene cleared, I made two decisions:
1. In the event this is ever a real fire I will flee into the arms of a fireman, taking of course my work cell so I can still do my job and make all those calls necessary to cover breaking news.
2. I need to keep a bottle of Jameson Special Reserve Irish Whisky in my drawer. If drinking in the newsroom was still allowed, just one shot would have calmed the headache caused by the alarms much faster than the advil I did take. Then again, a medicinal drink on the desk would go a long way to fixing almost any problem I face...

The chatter throughout the newsroom and edit bays on and off through the night included several comments and jokes about staying to cover the fire as the building burns around you vs. leaving the building. Facebook status updates pondered the same questions and made jokes of the situation.

I made a comment to a couple of editors about calling the guard to find out if I should evacuate the building. The response from one was, "Wait, so you're in charge of the building evacuation and will tell me if I need to leave or not?!?"

"Of course, I'm the queen and in charge of everything in the newsroom!" (How true on so many levels haha ;)

Other than this, the rest of the night was calm. Scanners remained relatively quiet. Photographers were able to edit, shoot and engineer their own live shots. (I did have to send a second live truck to Boulder to replace the one there because the dish on the one already there was loose and basically just hanging there.) No one called to yell or complain. The producers got everything they wanted for the show. And then I went home to finally have that drink.

Oh, the cause of the alarms was a sudden and immense water pressure drop to the station which tricked the alarm system into thinking the water sprinklers had gone off.