AUBURN HILLS (WWJ) – Multiple crews responded to a fire Tuesday morning at the Palace of Auburn Hills.
The massive arena — a popular concert venue and current home of the Detroit Pistons — is located on Lapeer Road near I-75.
Auburn Hills Fire Chief James Manning told WWJ’s Sandra McNeill it was a two-alarm fire, meaning additional area fire crews were called in to help.
He said they got the called at around 10:30 a.m., after the fire started in the vent, or hood, above an oven in a kitchen on the east side of the facility.
“We arrived here and there was an active fire in the ventilation system,” Manning said. “The fire pretty much burned itself out in the ventilation system; and we checked for hot spots and any extension.”
The fire was contained to one kitchen. There are three in the facility.
There were no injuries and the Palace was not hosting an event at the time of the fire.
A witness who works across the street to the east of the Palace said she saw smoke and fire.
“And then we saw people evacuating from the rear of the building,” she told WWJ’s Scott Ryan. “Several police cars had showed up and then the fire departments from Waterford, Rochester Hills and Auburn Hills had a couple of ladder trucks.”
Manning said a helicopter from the Oakland County Sheriff’s office also assisted on scene.
How serious is the damage?
“I know they had to tear part of a wall out that backs of to where the ventilation system was; the ventilation system shut down,” Manning said. “But it’s only the kitchen ventilation system (which extends from the main kitchen to
the southeast side of the building). The rest of the building is fine.”
A spokesman for the Palace said that a fire alarm did go off in the building and that they evacuated the facility safely and according to protocol. Palace employees were allowed to return to work in other areas of the building once the fire was confirmed to be out.
While the cause of the fire remains under investigation, Palace officials say they will continue investigate the extent of the damage.
The Pistons play at home v. Memphis on Wednesday, and the organization is working to determine if food services at the game may be affected.