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Fire at Ralph Englestad Arena causes up to $1.5 million in damage

A fire broke out Sunday in Ralph Engelstad Arena in Grand Forks, causing significant damage to electronic equipment and arena ice. Smoke damage also occurred throughout the building.

"From a venue perspective, we're assessing the damage and attempting to determine the cause of the fire. Nobody was hurt, and the fire was exhausted quickly," said Chris Semrau, director of events and marketing at the arena.

Grand Forks Fire Department Bruce Weymier said damage to the sound system and building is estimated to total $1 million to 1.5 million.

""This was a significant fire," he said.

The fire was located in the catwalk area of the building, making putting it out a tricky task.

""We had to go up stairwell and go through the press box to get to the catwalk," said Captain Weymier. "We had to stretch a lot of hose.""

About 600 feet of hose was used to reach the fire and 150 gallons of water was used to extinguish it.

Bruce Weymier said the department was dispatched to the call shortly before 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

An employee entered the arena's loading dock area about 12:50 p.m., smelled burning plastic and called 911.

Weymier said a set of drop-down speakers was the origin of the fire. UND Police and Altru also responded to the call.

The cause of the fire will be investigated by electricians, the Grand Forks Fire Department and the N.D. State Fire Marshal.