State fire marshal urges caution when grilling near stadiums

Your grill should be fully extinguished before entering the stadium.
Your grill should be fully extinguished before entering the stadium.(WSFA 12 News)
Published: Sep. 4, 2022 at 4:49 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - From Alabama and Auburn games on Saturday to fans at the Red Tails Classic in Montgomery on Sunday - with more people cooking on grills, the state’s top fire official is urging caution.

A packed Jordan-Hare Stadium filled with Auburn fans - that is the way it is today and the way it was back in September 1996 when a nearby building caught fire.

“Thankfully, there were no injuries that I recall or loss of life to that, but just think - you had a huge building right next to Jordan-Hare that was fully involved during an SEC football game,” said State Fire Marshal Scott Pilgreen.

Authorities said the fire started after a tailgater moved a grill too close to the building.

It is an accident the fire official does not want recreated. He is urging tailgaters to be cautious this football season.

Your grill should be fully extinguished before entering the stadium.

“That game starts, guess what, that game is four quarters long. It’s going to be going on for about three hours,” Pilgreen said. “Make sure it’s properly taken care of and is not going to cause a problem.”

Tailgaters are urged to place their grills far from any deck railings and overhangs.

The state fire marshal said alcohol can often makes matters worse. Fans who are drinking on gameday should also be careful around any open flame.

“If you have to have somebody who is not partaking in the adult beverage, or whatever it may be, and have them handle the grilling, and the cooking and all of that, again, it’s about being safe,” Pilgreen added.

Additionally, propane and charcoal grills should stay outside. You are encouraged to keep your grill clean by removing any grease or fat buildup.

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