The Caesars Superdome, home of the New Orleans Saints, caught fire earlier today. The blaze sent pitch-black smoke into the air as flames erupted from a small area on the dome’s roof. This comes just weeks after the Saints’ canceled their preseason home game due to Hurricane Ida. Kelsey Davis, a reporter for New Orleans’ Fox affiliate posted a video of the smoke reaching into the sky. Check it out below.
WAFB9, a Louisiana-based news outlet reported that New Orleans Fire Department responded to the blaze. However, NOFD could not provide details about the fire. The outlet added that the cause of the fire remains unknown, but workers were on the roof of the Caesars Superdome using a pressure washer shortly before the fire broke out.
Reports indicate that New Orleans residents across the city could see the inky-black smoke billowing into the air starting at around 12:30 this afternoon. However, the smoke lightened in color before 1 o’clock as firefighters tamed the blaze. By about 1:20, they had the fire completely under control. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem like the fire did much damage to the Caesars Superdome’s iconic white domed roof.
However, crews are currently on the scene to assess the damage to the Caesars Superdome’s roof, according to a local CBS affiliate. EMS took one of the workers to the hospital with minor burns.
Shortly after the 1 o’clock hour, Fox 8’s Saints analyst Jeff Duncan sent out a tweet about the fire atop the Caesars Superdome. In it, he said that Doug Thornton, the Vice President of Stadiums for ASM Global, the company that manages the Superdome, texted him about the fire. According to Duncan’s tweet, the fire started in the gutter tub on the roof while the workers were pressure washing.
If crews deem the Caesars Superdome Safe, it will be the site of the Saints’ home game against the New York Giants on October third.
Past Damage to Caesars Superdome Roof
In 2005, when the Caesars Superdome was still the Louisiana Superdome, Hurricane Katrina ripped through New Orleans. Many residents fled to the Superdome to seek shelter. However, things took a bleak turn with wind from the storm ripped sections of the roof away.
The Superdome was meant to serve as a place of refuge for residents who couldn’t otherwise evacuate. To this end, the roof was supposed to stand up to winds up to 200 miles per hour. However, Katrina’s 145 mile per hour winds were able to wreak havoc on the structure.
According to ESPN, this failure led to a massive lawsuit against several corporate defendants. Doug Thornton spoke on the damage, saying that 70 percent of the roof failed. This allowed water to soak the interior of the stadium as well as many individuals taking refuge inside.