COLORADO SPRINGS – Performances of the Nutcracker by the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and Oklahoma City Ballet will go on as scheduled this weekend despite an early Sunday morning fire outside of the Pikes Peak Center. A trailer in the loading dock caught fire and burned causing some minor damage to the back of the building.
The smell of smoke is about the only clue audiences may have that an emergency occurred. County facility crews were busy Monday swapping out air filters in the ventilation system to make the theater more comfortable. heat from the fire melted a light fixture and burned away paint on a metal dock garage door.
“Since the fire occurred in the loading dock area, I think that we’ll be lucky in that most of the guests will be pretty far away from where that fire and that smell originated,” said El Paso County spokesman Ryan Parsell. “However, you may be able to detect a little bit of it.”
Smoke alarms inside the theater and a call from an off-duty police officer triggered dispatchers to send crews. The fire appears to be human-caused. A man reportedly was seen walking away from the scene Sunday morning and has not been seen again. Officers think he may have been homeless and started a warming fire in the trailer.
“I’m happy to report that the County staff and the Broadmoor World Arena has worked hard to get this facility up and ready and to make sure that it’s safe for people to enjoy this holiday season,” Parsell added.
In the meantime, dress rehearsals for Friday’s opening night were held as scheduled. It was a minor set back that could have been much worse but for the quick response by the Colorado Springs Fire Department.
El Paso County has property insurance on the Pikes Peak Center and Parsell said they are working with their carrier to have an adjuster come to take a look at the damage to help make a decision about a claim.