The Toronto Raptors’ game against the visiting Indiana Pacers was suspended at the end of the first half due to a fire at Scotiabank Arena.
Fans were ordered out of the building with 4:05 left in the first half, and the Raptors up 66-38. Raptors officials and the Toronto Fire Department were determining whether the game could resume on Saturday, although no fans were allowed back into the building.
A Raptors spokesperson described it as a “small electrical fire” and video showed a loudspeaker on fire above Section 103 at the east end of the arena. The concern, according to the spokesperson, was with the smell and the smoke.
The first sign that something was wrong was at the end of the first quarter when fans in the upper bowl of the east stand noticed smoke. A lower section of the bowl was evacuated, then firefighters gathered in the empty section, staring at the ceiling. A few minutes later, another lower bowl section was ordered to leave.
PA announcer Herbie Kuhn was instructed to turn off his microphone for security reasons for several minutes. He could be heard testing the system several times at the end of the second quarter, but the main speakers above the bleachers did not seem to work.
At the end of the second quarter, after the firefighters gathered with the referees and the teams on the field, the players headed for the locker rooms.
Eventually, Kuhn announced the evacuation order from the Toronto Fire Department. Fans booed loudly at the announcement.