While crews battled a fire at Narrows Marina, where Tacoma meets University Place, U.S. Open spectators kept watching golf.
Some fans tweeted from the grandstands as smoke, visible from most areas around Chambers Bay, billowed into the air. A News Tribune reporter noted that it sporadically smelled smokey at the No. 11 fairway.
But cheering commenced and fans continued to follow their favorite golfers. Most spectators didn’t notice the smoke in the distance until Fox announcers remarked on the Goodyear blimp’s aerial footage of the burning storage unit.
“I was telling people it was a luau out of control,” said Mike Sbory, a patrol officer for Tacoma Police Department, who was stationed at the 18th hole. “I didn’t want people to panic.”
He and fellow officer Kenny Smith heard chatter on their radios, but said nobody seemed disrupted by the commotion.
“Not even the Geico guy,” Smith quipped, pointing to the plane flying through the smoke, banner in tow.