Brian Williams stays cool as NBC fire alarm rings throughout ‘Nightly News’

In more than three decades of hanging around TV stations and studios, I have never seen anything like what happened on NBC Nightly News Tuesday night.

Brian Williams was just introducing the lead story of the newscast about the American Airlines bankruptcy filing when a fire alarm sounded in the NBC studio, followed by a voice announcement.

Watch video of the alarm sounding during the story:

The NBC Nightly News team tweeted about the alarm.

Williams — a former volunteer firefighter as a reader reminds us — kept his cool, offered an easy chuckle and assured viewers that it was just an alarm and there was no danger. Surely the problem would go away. It didn’t. He tossed to Andrea Mitchell.

Within minutes, Brian Williams and NBC Nightly news were trending on Twitter.

Viewers started reacting, amazed that Williams could keep going. Why didn’t somebody smash the alarm, they asked on Twitter?

The alarm buzzed on, through the Herman Cain story, through the lead-in to a story about the siege at the British Embassy in Iran.

Williams took a commercial break. When he came back, so did the alarm. Each time, Williams did exactly what he should do, he kept his cool, reminded viewers everything was OK and kept going, even while his voice was overwhelmed by the sound as he introduced a piece on Mexican drug wars.

Three-quarters of the way through the program, the alarm fell silent.

How did it happen?

My Twitter followers who work in television tell me that depending on where you live, fire codes may require alarms, even in studios. And sometimes the alarms just do what alarms do, they go off.

Kingsley Smith is the News Director at KTTV FOX 11 in Los Angeles and sent me a picture of a sensor in the ceiling of his station’s studio.

Samara Sodos, a reporter at WFLA in Tampa, remembers when this happened at her station, too.

NBC’s PR spokeswoman tweeted an explanation:

“With thanks for your cooperation,” Williams said as he closed the program, “We hope to get all quiet and see you here tomorrow night.”

West Coast viewers missed the excitement as NBC re-did the program live for that feed. NBC posted a final tweet to viewers.

Back in February, NBC San Diego had a fire alarm go off during a live broadcast. The station switched to MSNBC while it sorted out the problem.

Also earlier this year, a fire alarm went off during a live BBC broadcast.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Q532MQRIAOZBQD4V2HATJ74NBE Joan ramiro

    Es usted acaso bovo? Mejor hable con sus reguladores y digale a yotup.kitty que no sea tan bolilico da lastima junto a su delgadisima sombra de vida.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CGKBEBJ3QCKD37ZCI5MQJOENG4 Fast Eddie

    Dear Brian Williams, I was one of I’m sure millions who viewed your program last evening and saw the ‘alarm segment’. This morning on a different network, I was watching the Dan Patrick Show. He made mention of you and replayed a portion of the beginning of the show, alarm included. Dan had such praise for your ability to know what had to be done and your ability to continue. He then said you are a, I’ll paraphrase, ‘he is a true journalist and you never missed a beat.’ I enjoy watching your program and I a long time Dan Rather fan I too respect you. And thanks for reporting the news as it should be.Sincerely, Ed in Georgia

  • Anonymous

    Well of course he ignored the alarms. How how many alarms have been going off over this country’s mounting debt we are collecting under the fraud we have in the white house that he has he totally ignored? It has nothing to do with keeping one’s cool, it’s just gotten to be a trained response.

  • Anonymous

    Well of course he ignored the alarms. How how many alarms have been going off over this country’s mounting debt we are collecting under the fraud we have in the white house that he has he totally ignored? It has nothing to do with keeping one’s cool, it’s just gotten to be a trained response.

  • Anonymous

    If anything, I think the alarm sounding in the studio is a good parody for how congress is ignoring the alarm of economic meltdown.  They hear the alarms, but go right along business as usual.  And yes, Williams is an Obamabot like most people in the media.  But calling OSHA over the matter would just make conservatives look like guttersnipes.  There’s a smarter way to handle things.  At the polling booth, for example

  • Anonymous

    There are a lot of things that Government wants you to do…and a lot of the stuff has nothing to do with the task at hand.  First off, there are two ways around this type of goofiness; #1.) Install a strobe or flasher to WARN folks on a closed set that something MIGHT HAVE HIT THE FAN AND THAT SOMEONE SHOULD BE RESPONSIBLE ENOUGH TO CHECK IT OUT.  #2.)  That alarm should be MUTED when there’s an open mic on a set.  Some Unionista Nimrod/Booberment Wonk should not be allowed into areas where they obviously have no clue as to what works.  What Mr. Williams proved was this…Regardless whether the alarm was there, or not, he was going to stay put, not run, and do the job he was hired to do.  If nothing else, the rest of the staff felt the same way or otherwise the NBC Newscast would have looked pretty damn stupid for about 30 minutes with no “Plan B” up and running.  BTW, I can guarantee you that there’s some “afterhours” re-wiring going on (or has been completed) and “Plan B” is being mapped out and tested off-line.  If I were there, the crew would be coming up with a “Plan C” just in case “Plan B” bites the big one too.

  • http://hotair.com/ StewartIII

    ChickaBOOMer: American Airlines Slogan ‘Be Yourself. Nonstop.’ Averts Brian Williams On-Air Crash.
    http://chickaboomer.blogspot.com/2011/11/american-airlines-slogan-be-yourself.html

  • Anonymous

    LIke any good liberal you fail to see satire.  

    Mr. Williams is big government liberal in favor of more regulation.   Mr. Williams may want to ignore the fire signal,  but as Mr. Obama said this week,  “businesses can’t always do what they want.Sure,  his little nightly news show would have been destroyed for the night by Gov regulation,  but hey,   what liberals are all about — destruction of the private sector.

  • Anonymous

    I feel the same way when Faux Snooze bags on liberals 24/7.  Can’t we all just get a bong?

  • Anonymous

    NBC still has a news cast?

  • Tara Reeves

    Next NBC will run a 5 part mini series on how brave and professional  Brian Williams was, and then see to it that he is Time Magazines Man of the Year…

  • Chicago Nick

    Geez, they act like he worked through a tsunami in the studio…. Firemen work during alarms going off all day long and have a MUCH harder job than this guy! 

    Why wouldn’t he ‘keep cool’? They all knew it was a freakin’ false alarm. It would be news to me if he worked while the TV/ blue screen behind him was in flames.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JTU2T6TNGDXRE6DJZ33JCJJY6Q Rocky

    I can’t watch Brian Willams.  His biased slant on the news trying to crush every conservative makes me turn him off.

  • Anonymous

    great example to set.  Don’t worry people if the smoke alarm goes off in your house, office, school, whatever, just ignore it and laugh about it like I do.  Yeah, what a pro.

  • Anonymous

    great example to set.  Don’t worry people if the smoke alarm goes off in your house, office, school, whatever, just ignore it and laugh about it like I do.  Yeah, what a pro.

  • Anonymous

    I was impressed when Brian went on Letterman and told his listeners how bad the economy really was.  I don’t have TV, listening to 30 minutes of commercials on what to do if your erection last longer than 4 hours just doesn’t fit with the entire dinner thing.  NBS.

  • Anonymous

    What do you expect from a puppet?

  • Anonymous

    omg….. a drama queen….   Look, the alarm malfunctioned.  The studio was searched, there was no danger. 

    If any threat would have been found, they could have evacuated the studio in 15 seconds.

    There should be a med out there for the anxiety you’re suffering….

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_22QNXJI2B45WBEEA3B67HP2RPA avgjoe

    Reading the comments of the TWITs who tweeted on how awesome brian williams is just shows the low intelligence level of your typical LSDmnbc viewer. Believe me I worked on a university campus  & saw many times the egghead, profs & the “educated” stand around trying to figure out what that buzzing or that siren & audio (like at the PMSnbc studio) that said “an emergency has been detected please leave immediately by the nearest emergency exit” meant. They couldn’t figure it out & continued on thier oblivious way.
    How many people died that didn’t need to in the terror attacks of 9-11 for this same reason? Ok for you PMSnbc followers are also “9-11 truthers” so it was Bush & Cheney’s plan to rebuild the WTC since it was too expensive to remodel right rosie?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_22QNXJI2B45WBEEA3B67HP2RPA avgjoe

    Reading the comments of the TWITs who tweeted on how awesome brian williams is just shows the low intelligence level of your typical LSDmnbc viewer. Believe me I worked on a university campus  & saw many times the egghead, profs & the “educated” stand around trying to figure out what that buzzing or that siren & audio (like at the PMSnbc studio) that said “an emergency has been detected please leave immediately by the nearest emergency exit” meant. They couldn’t figure it out & continued on thier oblivious way.
    How many people died that didn’t need to in the terror attacks of 9-11 for this same reason? Ok for you PMSnbc followers are also “9-11 truthers” so it was Bush & Cheney’s plan to rebuild the WTC since it was too expensive to remodel right rosie?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_22QNXJI2B45WBEEA3B67HP2RPA avgjoe

    Reading the comments of the TWITs who tweeted on how awesome brian williams is just shows the low intelligence level of your typical LSDmnbc viewer. Believe me I worked on a university campus  & saw many times the egghead, profs & the “educated” stand around trying to figure out what that buzzing or that siren & audio (like at the PMSnbc studio) that said “an emergency has been detected please leave immediately by the nearest emergency exit” meant. They couldn’t figure it out & continued on thier oblivious way.
    How many people died that didn’t need to in the terror attacks of 9-11 for this same reason? Ok for you PMSnbc followers are also “9-11 truthers” so it was Bush & Cheney’s plan to rebuild the WTC since it was too expensive to remodel right rosie?

  • craigalls

    Liberals are insane. The building could be burning down but it’s still unreality to them.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_N26L5WEW6BNJI4VZST4Z4T5PYU Mean Old Quack

    BFD

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_22QNXJI2B45WBEEA3B67HP2RPA avgjoe

    Samething I was thinking! How many people died that didnt need to in the terror attacks of 9-11 Ok for you PMSnbc followers are also “9-11 truthers” so it was Bush & Chenys plan to rebuil the WTC since it was too expensive to remodle right rosie?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-Benoit/1847313267 James Benoit

    NBC sucks, so how do liberal sychophants react?  “Oh! Ah! He’s like Obama! Brian Williams can read the news off a teleprompter! Gee golly!”

    …in other “news” Brian Williams had Chinese for lunch…

  • http://twitter.com/gillie144 gillian

    this is “excitement”?  Thank God it wasn’t a real fire….think he would have shown a better example organizing the crew to leave the studio in an orderly fashion.

  • Anonymous

    Professionalism?  This is the same guy who thought it was great that Chelsea Clinton with NO JOURALISM EXPERIENCE was chosen to be a news anchor for NBC.  Yeah, professional, right.

  • Anonymous

    He had plenty of firewater in him from the days of Jimmy Byrne’s Sea Girt Inn.

  • Anonymous

    Professionalism? Try bad example! What if children were watching him ignore the alarm?

    For the good of the children Brian should have left the building.

    Isn’t there a NY law he was breaking by staying? If not… where is Bloomberg?

  • http://www.fatboy.cc Teddy Kennedy’s SEARCH+RESCUE

    For a minute there,  I thought Ed “I’m going to Torch this {bleeping} place!” Schultz, had finally done it.

  • countstix

    That wasn’t a fire alarm. It was the newly installed lie detector.

  • Anonymous

    Reading all of the other postings here is cracking me up! You people give me hope for America. Keep seeing through the smoke screen of the lame stream media!

  • Anonymous

    Meanwhile, the REAL NEWS is ignored by our Media Masters. Like Barry getting a “Notice of Mismatch” letter from the FEDS, after his identity info. FAILED to pass the E-Verify database.

    Just google OBAMA FAILED E-VERIFY.
    Another 6 letter word for Felony… BARACK!

  • Anonymous

    Pretty funny. Have to read about this online, as virtually no one watches NBC news. Nobody I know anyway. Kind of weird how people are reacting with such reverence. It’s still a very poor excuse for a news broadcast.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HQXYW3PBVUD4O7DW36OM4RWDVE Steve

    Why would the statist media want to prove how stupid Brian Williams may be?  I am unimpressed!  Now if he were to report news in an unbiased way then I am impressed or report from a battlefield and being wounded then I am impressed.  Or better yet, report from a battlefield, while riding in a HumVee that ran over an IED and do it all at the same salary as one of our soldiers….Now I am impressed.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BJXYZH3VVYB7ADPLQZQOF76AAM Rocco Tool

    It’s all Bush’s fault.

    Or…

    -the Republicans
    -the Tea Party
    -Israelis
    -banks
    -oil companies
    -people making over $250,000
    -people with a job
    -insurance companies
    -Fox News
    -Global Warming Hoax
    -CEOs
    -someone trying to be wealthy
    -oil rigs
    -incandescent light bulbs
    -plastic bags

    I’m sure that’s what Andrea Mitchell said.

  • http://essenceofarganfacts.com Essence of Argan

    William Patrick Hitler who was the nephew of Hitler had four kids. One of them was named Brian Williams. Is the NBC nightly news anchorman Brian Williams one of the kids?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_T6NLALABMMNEY3XRYRAIEB4K44 Hobson Victim

    Bryon is so dumb he probably has no idea what the strange noise meant. Works for NBC you know. OK if you can’t do any better I suppose.

  • http://grumpyfan.wordpress.com/ GrumpyFan

    I’m guessing the blame/responsibility would be on the producer, not Mr Williams.

  • http://conservapost.tumblr.com Daniel Bruski

    I watched tonight’s NBC Nightly News broadcast. Many kudos to Brian Williams for keeping his cool and continuing on. And, with all due respect to the other comments, Brian Williams said all was fine, so why should they have left the building? People need to start reading and listening before commenting.

  • Anonymous

    It’s amazing what liberals think of the garbage they call news. This idiot acted like he was heroic and saving the nation. I suppose Mayor Bloomberg will award him the citizen medal of bravery.

  • Anonymous

    Brian Williams is soooo brave. Don’t make me gag. At least it was NBC employees at risk. Take heed, liberals, your liberal buddies are taking you down the path of destruction.

  • notalib

    Oh Brother!   Is someone trying to make a hero out of Brian Williams?  Jeez, he is a flaming lib news reader.  The entire city fire department was probably standing behind him —at the expense of the taxpayers.

  • http://www.JimCockrum.com/ Jim Cockrum

    Actually that was the alarm set to go off when the last viewer turned the channel.

  • Anonymous

    That was no fire alarm — it was the Truth screaming to be heard that he was ignoring

  • Anonymous

    “The alarm buzzed on, through the Herman Cain story”

    ’cause being one of pimp David Axelrod’s bit-ches and pushing pro-Obama propaganda  is far from important than the safety of his employees.

  • http://grumpyfan.wordpress.com/ GrumpyFan

    I’m not sure about TV stations, but here in Texas for big churches, the fire alarm is tied into the sound system and lighting. So, when an alarm goes off, it actually overrides the sound system and plays a recording. Lights are switched over to emergency mode and strobes start flashing. These systems usually cannot be overriden except at the fire alarm panel, but if the situation that caused the alarm still exists, it will only silence the alarm for about a minute. I’m really surprised the producer in the studio didn’t stop the broadcast. At the point he/she chose to continue the broadcast, he was putting the entire crew at risk and might even face criminal charges for reckless endangerment, depending on fire codes there.

  • Anonymous

    The guy has his head so far up Obama’s ass he couldn’t hear the siren.

  • http://twitter.com/GlowingTribute TrentO

    Information technology folks would call this a ‘fail.’ This incident shows that NBC did not provide for any contingency facilities / feeds. If there really was a fire or even a bad circuit-breaker, the broadcast would’ve gone dark. There should have been a seamless fail-over to a secondary site… they used to do this anyway, when the networks actually supported multiple reporting bureaus… Now, to save costs everything happens from a single, highly controlled location.

    Like Scotty used to say: “the more they overtake the plumbing, the easier it is to stop-up the drain.”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6WMW32YNY22QXSP4OQ2TMEZS3U Trace Mann

    NBC MSNBC CNBC CNN FOX CBS ABC………….Are the reason I have Quit watching TV altogether, And my life is much more Stress free believe me………..

  • jdepps13

    You would think they have some other location they can throw the feed to (with another anchor to finish the broadcast) in the case of a problem such as this. 

  • Anonymous

    He could stay in there and burn on camera……. I’d watch that……

  • Anonymous

     Like a boss.  Our company has a NY office and they frequently have the building alarm go off, especially after 9.11 when everyone in the city realized they might someday have to escape all manner of bad stuff.  They clear the cube farm because of fire marshals but some people with lockable offices make like nobody’s home…a side effect of frequent fire drills is people stop taking them seriously.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MZHXFT6DSYIU7MJKJH2VFOHQDQ None

    See, a recent study by generic liberal academia has stated that fire doesn’t actually burn or hurt anymore. So liberals everywhere have started disregarding fire alarms.

  • http://twitter.com/Random_acct GGil

    Yeah…we missed it on the West Coast.  Funny…although I am not surprised he reacted coolly like that and continued on.  What were people people expecting…that he run out of the studio right there and then?

  • stoptouchingthatmabel

    So he ignores a fire alarm and he is thought of as brave
    or a trooper the show must go on. The only thing he and NBC can hear is the
    sweet melodious sound of Obama’s hypnotizing voice.

  • http://www.jewpoint.blogspot.com JPeditor

    “My Twitter followers who work in television tell me that depending on where you live, fire codes may require alarms, even in studios. And sometimes the alarms just do what alarms do, they go off.”

    You Twitter followers who work in television are MORONS. As are the idiots running NBC, Nothing But Crap. Security should have figured out the alarms were valid or false within a minute, and either evacuated the area(s) OR SHUT THE DAMN ALARMS OFF.

    As for Williams, he’s been a shill for the DNC for so long, I am surprised he hasn’t set himself on fire with all the rubbing he does with Obama.

  • Anonymous

    Ignoring a fire alarm does NOT exhibit “cool…” It shows stupidity.

  • Anonymous

    Ignoring a fire alarm does NOT exhibit “cool…” it shows stupidity.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_X7O6EDPKUSEG7JJVT34QBMTXOU jeffrey

    Would anyone really notice (or care) if the whole place burned down?

  • Fluidizer

    Big deal. The dude is a News Reader, a Entertainer, at best, and the show must go on. He obviously knew it was a false alarm and kept going as he is paid to do. Why is this newsworthy?

  • Bryan Hipple

    NBC, owned by a company with such horrible leadership that they had to change their name, x-finity and beyond, it truly is a craptastic company, the only ones that are held accountable are the ones at the bottom of the pyramid, oh yeah, that would be the top, seeing as how the company is run like an upside down pyramid!

  • http://twitter.com/WranglerJack Jack Wrangler

    Grab your lifejackets the ship is sinking…

  • http://twitter.com/WranglerJack Jack Wrangler

    Grab your lifejackets the ship is sinking…

  • http://twitter.com/WranglerJack Jack Wrangler

    I was really hoping Williams and the rest of this leftist network had burned down….

  • unknown unknown

    Oh such a brave hero , sitting there thru a false fire alarm… Pfftt.. 

    Andrea M was so impressed. Ha  They’re a joke.

  • Anonymous

    Not a fire alarm.  The BS detector.  And it’s been wailing since 2008.

  • Anonymous

    This reminds me of how calm, cool and collected the media is while Obama burns this country down.  

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KJRV4F6Q6FXCSL5CCJQLC4ICRQ Ianzoe

    This is NY right??? Home of 911??? No one responds???

  • Anonymous

    Obviously, his commitment to mouthing leftist propaganda pre-printed for him on a teleprompter outweighs the importance of life itself . . . his associates’ as well as his own.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WKYAOOUKE2UVSQBB3Q7JZMIIHA JohnNJ46

    Waste of a match or the electricity for the fire alarm.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WKYAOOUKE2UVSQBB3Q7JZMIIHA JohnNJ46

    At least not that “network”.

  • Steven Trawford

    hi who cares

  • Furrystoat

    Nice example he sets for public safety….ignore the fire alarm & place entire building at risk for refusing to evacuate. He typifies the arrogant liberal…fire alarms are for the common folk, not for me.
    What a total douchebag.  A true professional would have evacuated the studio & continued the broadcast when the FD pronounces it all clear.

  • Anonymous

    Mr. Williams put each one of the studio employees at great risk by ignoring the fire signal.   Mr. Williams should be fined $10.000,000 by OSHA. 

  • Anonymous

    I have been in a building where the alarm was going off and smoke was pouring from the a/c vents.
    Many people stayed at their desks.

    Idiots.

  • Anonymous

    Mr. Williams put every studio employee’s life at risk by forcing them to stay at their camera or mic boom.   Mr. Williams should be fined by OSHA $10,000,000

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know why this is “news”. No one watches the network news anymore.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_HTAPJS2NIQ2CYQUIEM3I3LB6MA Anonymous

    Relax, it’s just NBC…

  • Anonymous

    Is this a story about NBC News or about twitter? It’s hard to tell since both organisations are full of twits.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TZ27RRAP22CBAK2GWAQJZM3AE4 Pat F

    Yes, this is great.  Now kids, what do we do when the fire alarm goes off?

  • Anonymous

    Don’t forget Al, Brian was a volunteer firefighter for three years in New Jersey as a teenager.