updated 6/28/2006 4:47:15 PM ET 2006-06-28T20:47:15

The city's eternal flame has withstood high winds and torrential rains for more than 30 years, but an errant tennis shoe proved too much of an impediment.

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Firefighters shut down the flame briefly Monday so that they could pull out the charred sneaker.

"There was a situation," said Deputy Fire Chief David Eddins. "Someone had tossed a tennis shoe in it. We had to shut it off to remove the shoe."

The flame, which sits atop a 6-foot black granite pedestal, has been burning in front of the Dougherty County Courthouse since 1973, placed there by the American Legion to memorialize the men and women who have fought in the nation's wars.

By Tuesday, Albany's eternal flame was burning once again.

"We're up and running and in good shape," said Eddins.

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