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The Swamp spared: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium escapes damage in fire

Do not panic Gators: The stadium and football field were not damaged. The university says a maintenance tractor likely caught fire.
Fire trucks and emergency vehicles parked outside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday. Firefighters extinguished a burning piece of equipment inside. No one was injured and the stadium and football field were not damaged.
Fire trucks and emergency vehicles parked outside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday. Firefighters extinguished a burning piece of equipment inside. No one was injured and the stadium and football field were not damaged. [ DAWN CATE | Times ]
Published Sep. 12, 2020|Updated Sep. 13, 2020

A fire broke out Saturday at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium aka The Swamp, home of the Florida Gators.

Dark smoke could be seen billowing from one of the upper levels of the stadium as several fire trucks blocked the road and firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze. Several dozen onlookers watched from a distance.

University spokesman Steve Orlando said officials at first believed the fire was started by a golf cart, but then later clarified that it was likely a maintenance tractor.

It is believed that the vehicle caught on fire on the concrete concourse near the south end zone, but Orlando said officials do not believe the stadium itself or the field suffered any damage.

No injuries were reported and authorities are investigating the cause of the fire, which was extinguished around 3:45 p.m. by firefighters.

College football Twitter quickly had fun with the brief blaze, and so did Gators coach Dan Mullen.

“You know the Gators are gonna be on fire (fire emoji) this year," the coach wrote. "But we still have 2 weeks til kickoff.”

The Gators start the season Sept. 26 at Ole Miss and don’t play at home until Oct. 3 against South Carolina.

Fire trucks and emergency vehicles parked outside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday. Firefighters extinguished a burning piece of equipment inside. No one was injured and the stadium and football field were not damaged.
Fire trucks and emergency vehicles parked outside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on Saturday. Firefighters extinguished a burning piece of equipment inside. No one was injured and the stadium and football field were not damaged. [ DAWN CATE | Times ]
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