NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Smoke and flames shot through the side of the roof of the Superdome Tuesday as crews worked to clean New Orleans’ sports and entertainment arena and prepare it for paint.
The New Orleans Fire Department confirmed that firefighters reacted to flames on the roof of the building shortly after 12:30 p.m. The fire appeared to be under control a short time later.
New Orleans Emergency Management Services announced on Twitter that they would hospitalize a person for “minor burns.” Rescue workers called on people to stay away from the area.
Crews washed the roof with a pressure washer this week to prepare it for painting, officials said.
The fire occurred in a section of the Superdome canopy called the “gutter pan,” said Doug Thornton, ASM’s global VP of stadiums, speaking to The Times Picayune / The New Orleans Advocate. Thornton told the newspaper they were assessing the damage, but so far it did not appear that the structural integrity of New Orleans’ legendary sports and entertainment center was in danger.
A photo posted on the city’s emergency management Twitter feed showed firefighters in the trench separating the roof of the Superdome from an exterior wall while spraying down the fire-blackened walls.
ASM Global manages the Superdome. A spokesman did not immediately respond to a phone call from The Associated Press.
The NFL’s New Orleans Saints have regularly played home games at this venue and often drew large crowds. The Superdome has also hosted seven Super Bowls over the past few decades and is also used for concerts, college football, and other events.
The Saints’ next home game at the Superdome is slated for October 3rd when the team meets the New York Giants. The team’s final home game, scheduled for August 28, was canceled due to the impending Hurricane Ida, which hit land the next day. The team has been training in the Dallas area since the storm. The team’s September 12 game against the Green Bay Packers was relocated to Jacksonville, Florida, out of concern for the city’s wider infrastructure and dome staff, although the dome itself was not damaged during Ida.