The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Fire reported at Memorial Stadium

Jack Larson
The scene of Tuesday night’s fire at Memorial Stadium.

10/3/23 8:11 p.m.

The inside of Memorial Stadium was filled with smoke, and thick clouds came from multiple entrances. (Matt Stepp)

On Tuesday night, an Illini-Alert reported a fire at 1402 S. First St., the location of Memorial Stadium. Individuals in or near the location are advised to leave immediately. The fire was originally reported at approximately 8:03 p.m. and firefighters were dispatched to the scene.

At 8:12 p.m., the University of Illinois Police Department closed Kirby Avenue in response to the two-alarm fire.

10/3/23 8:21 p.m.

The fireground reported that the fire was mostly put out. Units said it seemed as though a piece of lawn equipment had caught fire, but the exact cause of the incident is still unknown.

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10/3/23 8:25 p.m.

Firefighters could be seen walking across the field at Memorial Stadium.

10/3/23 8:28 p.m.

Another Illini-Alert reported that fire was put out, although fire crews remain on the scene. Advisory to avoid the area remains. At 8:29 p.m., two firefighters with the Champaign Fire Department declined to comment on the situation.

10/3/23 9:01 p.m.

A third Illini-Alert reported that it is safe to resume normal activities, but that fire crews will remain on the scene. No further update on the cause of the fire was provided.

10/3/23 9:33 p.m.

According to a statement from Brett Moore, assistant director for athletic communications at the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics, the fire was contained to the southwest corner of the stadium, “away from spectator areas.”

The release also said there were no injuries reported as a result of the fire.

According to Moore, the DIA still plans to host the football team’s upcoming home game against Nebraska at the stadium on Friday.

“DIA will continue to evaluate the facility over the course of the next day,” the statement said. “Early indications are positive that the stadium will be prepared to host the game, as scheduled and without interruption of seating or services, for the game on Friday.”

10/3/23 11:37 p.m.

According to a statement from the City of Champaign, the fire originated under the south end zone. Fire crews were dispatched in response to the stadium’s automatic fire alarm. 

Firefighters deployed multiple hose lines and located the fire in the maintenance area, where groundskeeping equipment is stored,” said Randy Smith, public information officer at the City of Champaign. “Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the fire.”

One firefighter with minor injuries was treated on the scene and transported to a local hospital. 

The investigation to determine the cause of the fire remains ongoing, the statement added. 


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About the Contributors
Jessie Wang
Jessie Wang, Senior News Reporter
Hi! My name is Jessie and I’m a junior majoring in CS + philosophy. I am an assistant news editor, and this is my third semester with The DI. I’m super excited to be part of our lovely newspaper! Feel free to contact me at my email below if you want to chat.
Jacob Slabosz
Jacob Slabosz, Editor-in-Chief
Hey, I’m Jacob! I am currently a sophomore in computer engineering with a minor in German. I started at The Daily Illini in Fall 2022 as a news reporter and staff photographer, and by Spring 2023, I had worked my way to photo editor. Between March 2023 and March 2024, I was the Managing Editor for Visuals, and I have since taken over as Editor-in-Chief. When I’m not taking pictures for The DI or for fun, I enjoy cooking, water sports and tending to my numerous houseplants. I’m excited to use my background in coding to further automate out workspace processes and to see the content that our team produces!
Lisa Chasanov, Managing Editor for Reporting
Howdy! My name is Lisa, my game is delivering quality news to your phone screen, coffee table and recycling bin. Since fall 2022, I have had the honor of writing, editing and often-unsuccessfully pitching content for The Daily Illini. During my time at the 152-year-old news source, I have served as a reporter at our news desk, summer editor and assistant news editor. Most recently, after a rewarding year of bringing you hard-hitting stories such as “Uncut: Dissecting Circumcision” and “‘Surf’s Up’ could be the film of the summer,” I have taken over as managing editor for reporting. In my free time, you can find me performing open heart surgery in dark alleys, communicating telepathically with small woodland creatures and engaging in otherwise dubious activities. If you would like to summon me for any reason, you can find me at [email protected]. Good Yard. Stay tuned for more.
Matt Stepp
Matt Stepp, Visual Director
Jack Larson
Jack Larson, Audience Director
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