Michael didn't want to leave
SAN ANTONIO -- When the station becomes the story, it's not easy to for an anchor to abandon ship. Emily Baucum talked to News 4 Anchor Michael Garofalo, who was on the air when fire broke out at the station.
"I gotta be honest with you,” News 4’s Michael Garofalo told us. “I didn't want to leave the studio and didn't want to go off the air. The fire was going on in a different part of the building. I wanted to be back in there broadcasting until we actually had to leave."
While viewers see Michael on the anchor desk, he’s also a reporter. And ever the reporter, Michael kept telling our story just in a different medium. Michael hopped on social media right away. Michael showed you on Facebook and Twitter our first glimpse at the damage inside our building.
"They found out right away what was going on,” Michael said. “It was not pretty."
And the Facebook posts and tweets kept coming from the entire morning team, who turned a television station into an online broadcasting juggernaut all day.
Emily Baucum: “Ten years ago what you did this morning was not possible."
Michael: "No, not at all. Completely different ball game."
Michael did his best to keep in touch with viewers who wanted to know why wasn't he on the air?
"I did actually get an email from a Dish network viewer. They're like, what's going on? You're in black. I just said, fire at News 4, and I sent a picture.”
He used all the tools at his disposal to tell the story and keep you informed.
Leslie broke news about fire on Twitter
Smoke detectors sounded the alarm, flames burst through the windows, and our anchors did what they do.
"I need to tweet this,” News 4’s Leslie Bohl told herself. “We need to get video. We need to do our job because we're journalists first."
Leslie left the studio with the clothes on her back plus, some television accessories, and a very vital reporting tool.
"This is a little walking newsroom,” Leslie said, referring to her phone.
She recorded video and took pictures and posted them to Facebook and Twitter to keep her longtime viewers informed. In fact, many heard the breaking news from her tweets.
Emily Baucum: "People are connected to you. Even before I worked here I felt like I knew you."
Leslie Bohl: “Thank you to everyone who was writing, asking us how we were doing."
Meteorologist Siohbain Anders set up shop inside the lobby of the Hotel Indigo next door to our station.
"The first thing we did is jump on Facebook and start talking,” Siohbain said.
Siohbain even updated the forecast while responding to viewers like “Stella,” who prayed no one was hurt.
"It's nice to know the viewers worry about us,” added Siohbain. “And we communicated through social media."