Fireworks at Jersey Shore BlueClaws game ignite fire, but once snuffed, the show goes on

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LAKEWOOD − After the Jersey Shore BlueClaws baseball game against the Hudson Valley Renegades Monday night came a Fourth of July fireworks show that proved more exciting than planned.

The fireworks ignited shrubs and bushes behind the centerfield wall setting off a blaze shortly before 10 p.m. that was captured by many of the fans on video and in photos.

Mike Piscetelli took the photo linked to this story.

No one was injured or evacuated and the fire was quickly extinguished by the Lakewood Fire Department, which is on hand for every fireworks show along with the Ocean County Fire Marshal's Office, said Greg Giombarrese, spokesman for the BlueClaws, a Philadelphia Phillies affiliate.

"Once it was out and everything was cleared, the show resumed," Giombarrese said.

The fire took place in an area known as the "batter's eye," a section of ballparks in back of the centerfield wall where there are no distractions, like billboards, that could keep an umpire or player from clearly seeing a ball heading in that direction, Giombarrese said.

A fire breaks out during the fireworks show following a Jersey Shore BlueClaws game on July 4, 2022.
A fire breaks out during the fireworks show following a Jersey Shore BlueClaws game on July 4, 2022.

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Fans were not endangered by the fire, he said.

The BlueClaws stadium has a 360-degree concourse that allows fans to walk around the ballfield. A large stretch of that area between the left field and right field foul polls is cleared of fans after the seventh inning whenever a fireworks show is planned, which state law requires, he said.

Erin Mauterer of Ocean Township in Monmouth County was in the stands with family when the fire broke out.

"We went for fun and it's good there were fireworks because the BlueClaws lost miserably (8-0)," she said. "Everyone was sort of wondering what was going on (with the fire) and some people started to leave. I thought, this might be dangerous, but I don't think anyone was panicking."

Firefighters tackled the flames in short order, she said.

The BlueClaws announced Tuesday afternoon that any ticketholder from the July 4 game can turn that ticket in for any remaining fireworks game this season.

This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: Jersey Shore BlueClaws Fourth of July fireworks sets blaze