Fire Reported at Tropicana Field Ahead of Red Sox Opener

A small grease fire in the upper deck of Tropicana Field caused a smoky haze to fall over the playing field at the dome stadium five hours before the first pitch of the regular season opener between host Tampa Bay and Boston.

The smoke came out of a vent located below the second deck.

"Earlier this morning, there was a small grease fire in the 300 level of Tropicana Field. The sprinklers were activated and the fire has been extinguished. We do not expect it to impact gameday operations."

Media reports said it was a cooking fire in a concession stand.

The St. Petersburg Fire Department responded to the fire, which did not stop the ground crew from preparing the field for pregame workouts.

Within an hour, much of the smoke had been cleared from the ballpark and several Rays' players were playing catch in the outfield.

The first pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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