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New Orleans Saints’ Superdome stadium catches fire

The New Orleans Saints’ home, Caesars Superdome, caught fire on Tuesday afternoon, with one person brought to a nearby hospital for treatment of minor burns.

New Orleans Saints’ Superdome stadium catches fire
Chris Graythen

The fire broke out on the exterior gutter tub of the Superdome’s roof as workers were pressure-washing and preparing the sports arena for painting, sending thick black smoke and flames into New Orleans skies.

The injured person was one of the workers power-washing the dome’s 10-acre roof.

New Orleans Fire Department's quick response

The New Orleans Fire Department responded shortly after videos of the blaze made the rounds on the internet. The three-alarm fire was under control shortly after some 50 firefighters arrived at the scene.

Fox 8 said that the fire was located in a problematic position to put out, and that firefighters had to go up the roof and into a trench so they could battle the blaze from both inside and outside the dome.

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Fire started at pressure washer

“Upon investigation it appears that a pressure washer being used to clean the roof caught fire. Damage is still being assessed,” according to a tweet by Caesars Superdome.

Doug Thornton, Vice-President of ASM Global which manages the Superdome for Louisiana, said that thus far it appeared the structural integrity of the arena had not been compromised. This indicates that the stadium could be ready for the Saints’ return to their home.

Saints ready to play at home

The fire comes two weeks before the scheduled home opener of the Saints on Week 4 against the New York Giants. They were supposed to play their final preseason home game at Superdome on Aug. 28, but it was canceled due to the arrival of Hurricane Ida which devastated the state of Louisiana.

The Saints have been practicing in Texas since that time, and were also forced to play their Sept.12 home game against the Green Bay Packers in Jacksonville, Florida.

The team is hoping to play in the Superdome on Oct. 3 so as to have their first true home game for the season.