The Indiana Pacers and Toronto's Raptors were playing against each other on Saturday when an unexpected fire broke out. The NBA game was cut short, with 4:05 minutes left in the second quarter. By the time the team and the crowd evacuated the building, the Raptors were ahead at 66-38. Luckily after around 70 minutes, they were able to reenter and pick up where they left off. Here's what went down.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the crowds for the Raptors home games in Ontario have been only allowing a few hundred fans to watch the games. While the basketball players were in the first quarter of the game, the fire was noticed by a few. Slowly each crowd member was removed from their seats. “I was like, ‘Jeez, I wonder why they didn’t sell those seats tonight?’ That was my first thing,” recalled the Raptors coach Nick Nurse, “Then I saw the firemen standing there.” During the second quarter of the game, one of the speakers that were above the stands was completely on fire. Quickly the Toronto Fire Services entered the building and began telling the audience members to leave the building. It took a few minutes before the athletes were sent to the locker rooms.
Roughly half an hour later, a Raptors spokesperson announced that the game would resume in 40 minutes. As everyone waited, the fireman hung from their harness and stopped the flames from spreading with their extinguishers. According to the Pacers acting head coach Lloyd Pierce, the smell from the fire was quite strong, "You could definitely smell it...By the time (the game) stopped the smell was tough," he said, "Fifteen years for me, probably the most bizarre situation that we've been in for a game." It didn't take long for a clip of the entire situation to start trending on Youtube...
MLSE and Toronto Raptors statement following event incident at tonight’s game. pic.twitter.com/MrqX0X77Se— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) March 27, 2022
Finally, the NBA athletes were allowed back in to finish their game. Unfortunately, the fans were kept outside. But with the help of the security team and the ushers in the stadium, the players were able to get pumped again for the game. Eventually, the final score was 131-91 - with the Raptors walking home with the win. Stay tuned for more updates.