Fire interrupts TNA wrestling PPV; one worker hurt

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Monday, August 14, 2006

A small fire broke out in the iMPACT! Zone during the first PPV professional wrestling match (and third overall, including preshow) of TNA Hard Justice 2006 on August 13, causing the evacuation of Stage 21 (the official name for the "iMPACT! Zone") at Universal Orlando Resort for about 30 minutes. Although a Universal worker was taken to the hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation, no fans or wrestlers were hurt.

The source of the fire was a burlap sandbag in the rafters. Conflicting reports stated that either pyrotechnics or a stage light caused the fire. It was put out with fire extinguishers from the rafters, and fans in general did not know what was going on until they saw and heard the fire extinguishers go off above them. Fans were heard at first chanting "The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire!" like the 1985 song by Rock Master Scott.

As the fire occurred, Johnny Devine and Eric Young were wrestling. The match continued, and Eric Young won the match. After the match, the iMPACT! Zone was evacuated. Due to the delay caused by the evacuation, a match to determine the number one contenders to the NWA World Tag Team Championship was cancelled.

The Orlando Fire Department was called to the scene, and assessed that the building was safe to re-enter. As a safety precuation, TNA decided to not use any more pyros for the rest of the show.

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