WFMU uber-volunteer (and former Brattleboro resident/radio host) Wendy shares some sad news:
On Sunday, April 17th, a six-alarm fire struck one of the largest buildings in downtown Brattleboro, Vermont. The Brooks House, located on the corner of Main and High Streets, contained about 50 apartments, a few offices, at least a dozen storefront businesses, and low-power FM community radio station WVEW (who are now off the air).
WVEW's studios were on the second floor of The Brooks House, and its antenna was on the roof, which had partly collapsed during the fire. The transmitter, terrestrial broadcast equipment, web-streaming and broadcast equipment, studios, meeting space and record library was all housed in that second-floor office. While the fire itself didn't reach WVEW's office, the smoke and water damage has likely rendered every piece of WVEW's property completely useless. Station management won't know the extent of the damage until later today -- the fire department has started allowing residents to enter -- but it's not looking good at all.
For any radio station, this would be devastating. For a small, community-supported radio station, on the air for barely five years, the situation seems nearly impossible. While the station holds semi-regular fund-raisers and receives a small number of local underwriting sponsorships, it's still a struggle to keep a small, new station afloat. And now this.