Contributing photo/Amy Barkalow

Great American Ball Park smokestack catches fire

O’Connell, in a statement issued near the end of the Reds-Giants game, said, the flames that go up those tubes are fed by propane.

“One of the valves apparently failed on it.,” he said. “And quite frankly, the actions of the attendant really saved us from a disaster. He did a great job. He worked very diligently to take the precautionary measures. All his training and the precautions we have in place worked.”

O’Connell said the Reds organization is very appreciative of the Cincinnati Fire Division.

“We have fire personnel on scene at every one of our games. They responded immediately. We thought it was necessary to bring in the fire companies to put out the remaining fire because it was actually high up in the stack, so it was not safe for our maintenance personnel or the Rozzi’s attendant to go up in there. The fire marshal on site felt it was best for the fire department to do that,” he said.

“Unfortunately we’re going to be without that attraction for the next couple of days.”

O’Connell said the Reds organization is going to work with the fire division and Rozzi’s to make sure everything is in place to set the smokestacks back into operation.

“We evacuated two sections, just being cautious,” he said. “Our fans were unbelievable. They understood. Didn’t complain.”


One of the smokestacks in center field at Great American Ball Park caught fire during Friday night’s Reds-Giants game and had to be extinguished by a ladder truck.

Play was never interrupted despite the flames growing larger and black smoke getting thicker.

The malfunction began in the top of the sixth inning when the stack on the right side began spitting flames as it normally does after each Reds strikeout.

But the count on the batter was only 0-2 and the stack continued to spit flames longer than normal. One batter later, red fireworks erupted from the stack, something that usually only happens during the national anthem after Reds wins.

About 20 minutes later, a ladder rose from a fire truck on Mehring Way and extinguished the flames, which left several of the white bats atop the smokestack charred.

Thank you for reading the Journal-News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Journal-News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.