March 4th, 2013 (InsideCostaRica.com) The Central American Games were inaugurated in an unusual way in Costa Rica this weekend – the roof literally was, ‘on fire.’
A fire damaged the roof of the eat and west stands of the National Stadium and forced a rapid evacuation of the stadium after a fireworks display inaugurating the start of the Central American Games.
Luckily, the fire broke out towards the end of the festivities.
The fire damaged several sections of the building above the stadiums overhead lighting.
Flames appeared at approximately 9:41pm, as hundreds of spectators, members of the media, and athletes who had not yet left the stadium at the end of the festivities were evacuated by law enforcement and private security.
Ultimately, a fire-extinguishing unit with an elevated platform was brought in from Pavas to put out the blaze.
The director of the Fire Department, Hector Chaves, said it is believed that an accumulation of power residue from the fireworks show was to blame. He also indicated that a dry agent was used to extinguish the fire, rather than water, so as not to damage the stadium’s expensive lighting system.
At around 10:55pm, the fire was completely under control.
Apparently, some of the hot debris from the fireworks also landed in the streets surrounding the stadium, forcing officials to extend a 50-yard safety zone around the stadium.