Start of Steelers-Rams delayed by small fire, cleanup

ST. LOUIS (AP) The start of the St. Louis Rams game against the Pittsburgh Steelers was delayed nearly 30 minutes by a small fire from sparks emitted during a pyrotechnic display for player introductions.

''Out of an abundance of caution for player safety, the game was delayed to clean any residue from the turf,'' the Rams said in a statement.

''NFL officials were involved from the onset to monitor the cleanup process.''

The cleanup effort appeared to be hampered by a malfunctioning wet-dry vacuum used to remove fire extinguisher foam. There was a small circular mark between the 3 and 4-yard line near the north end zone as the game began.

In the first three quarters, neither team had any plays close to the mark.

It appeared the fire started as the rest of the Rams players trotted through towers that shot flames high into the air.

At one point during the delay, Rams players did stretching exercises. Later, both teams left the field.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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