The Carpenter Road studios of radio station KVFM, The Fox, was damaged by fire shortly after midnight that is being labeled as arson. Support pillars at the entrance to the studios were splashed with gasoline and ignited. There were 3 djs in the studios at the time who were forced to flee the building.
DJ Kris Taylor said she first noticed smoke curling over a partition in the office followed by an orange glow. Upon checking she found the entrance to the building completely engulfed in fire. All 3 djs were forced to run through the flames in order to get out of the building. They were uninjured.
Nearly 2 dozen Modesto City fireman responded to the two alarm blaze, virtually across the street from their Culpepper Avenue station. Their quick response prevented the blaze from spreading. Fire investigators found a 5 gallon gas bucket nearby which they believed was used to set the fire. Fire investigators said in addition to arson charges, the responsible(s) could be charged with attempted murder because the building was occupied at the time of the fire.
Steve Hanson, KVFM program director, said they had no suspects and noted that some harassment by the public is inherent in the radio business including crank phone calls and sometimes vandalism to vehicles in the parking lot. "But not arson." "Everybody is pretty shaken up," he said.
The station was off the air for about 3 hours while the blaze was being extinguished. Security guards were hired to watch the building which may have to be vacated for repairs.
It is unknown if this crime is related to an incident last October at radio station KOSO in Modesto whose dj was accosted by a gun wielding female demanding that he play her favorite song. At this time there are no suspects.