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Anchorwoman Stays in Front of Cameras as Smoke Fills Studio

June 01, 1987|Associated Press

ROANOKE, Va. — Smoke from a compressor fire filled the studios of WSLS-TV two minutes before the 6 p.m. news, but anchorwoman Laurie Penco stayed on the air reading the day's events.

"I couldn't really see the TelePrompTer," Penco said today of Sunday's fire. "We ought to put a fog light on it."

Firefighters tried to get the smoke out of the studio with a noisy fan.

"They brought a huge fan in and it was really loud," Penco said. "He tried to turn it on, but I made him turn it off."

She said it was the most difficult broadcast she ever made.

"My eyes kind of teared up, but other than that it was OK," she said.

Penco said her mother told her she was crazy to stay on the air and run the risk of smoke inhalation.

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