Raptors, Pacers game resumes without fans following suspension due to fire at Scotiabank Arena

The Toronto Raptors game against the visiting Indiana Pacers was suspended late in the first half due to a fire in Scotiabank Arena.

Fans were ordered to leave the building with 4:05 left in the first half, and the Raptors up 66-38. Raptors officials and Toronto Fire Services were determining if the game could resume Saturday, although no fans would be permitted back in the building.

A Raptors spokesperson described it as a “small electrical fire” and video showed an overhead speaker on fire above Section 103 in the east end of the arena. The concern, according to the spokesperson, was about the smell and the smoke.

The first sign something was amiss was late in the first quarter when fans in the upper bowl of the east grandstand noticed smoke. A lower-bowl section was evacuated, and then firefighters gathered in the empty section, staring up at the ceiling. Minutes later, another lower bowl section was instructed to leave.

Public address announcer Herbie Kuhn was instructed to turn his mic off for safety purposes for several minutes. He could be heard testing the system multiple times late in the second quarter, but the main speakers above the stands didn’t appear to be operating.

Late in the second quarter, after fire officials gathered with referees and teams on the court, the players headed to the locker-rooms.

Eventually, Kuhn announced the Toronto Fire Services’ evacuation order. Fans booed loudly at the announcement.

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