Restroom Fire Forces Evacuation, Cancellation of Fair Grounds Races

(Edited press release)

Fair Grounds Race Course canceled the final four races of its Mardi Gras Day card Tuesday after a fire broke out in the men’s restroom on the east end of the second floor of the grandstand.

Upon arriving on the scene, New Orleans Fire Department officials requested that thesix-story, 217,000-square-foot grandstand/clubhouse facility be evacuated, which led track officials to cancel the remainder of the card. A crowd of 2,657 was on hand, in addition to approximately 400 employees.

Fire department officials received the alarm at 3:05 p.m., or three minutes before post time of the sixth race, according to Fifth District Chief Jaime Lampard. Shortly after the sixth race, the building was evacuated.
There were no injuries, and the damage was contained to the restroom.

Fair Grounds has no live racing until Friday, when officials expect to race as scheduled.

The $75,000 Mardi Gras Stakes, the scheduled feature event of the afternoon, has been rescheduled for Monday, Feb. 26.