KOOP fire looks like arson

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A fire that knocked Austin community station KOOP off the air last weekend was set intentionally, city fire officials say. The blaze caused more than $300,000 in damage. The station, which shares the 91.7 frequency with the University of Texas’ student-run KVRX, moved to its current location in 2006 after two fires at its previous home caused more than $4 million in damages, total, with the latter blaze destroying the building entirely. Neither of the earlier fires was ruled to be arson. KOOP has a history of infighting, though things had apparently stabilized, according to local reports. That said, Jim Ellinger, KOOP’s founder, ousted in 1999, said Monday that the station keeps burning down because of its “own bad karma.”

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