Smoke Damage Feared Throughout Reynolds Coliseum After Transformer Fire
Posted May 24, 2005 10:51 a.m. EDT
RALEIGH, N.C. — Two rooms at N.C. State's Reynolds Coliseum sustained the most damage in a fire Monday morning, but smoke damage is feared for the entire structure.
About two dozen people were evacuated from Reynolds after an electrical transformer in the basement shorted out, caught fire and spread to the building.
Reynolds Coliseum Info From N.C. State
Memorable Moments At Reynolds
Crews from the Raleigh Fire Department were dispatched for a two-alarm fire at the building at about 10:30 a.m. Once on the scene, however, firefighters had to wait until electricity was cut before they could douse the flames.
"The transformer arced and caught the two adjoining rooms on fire," said Col. Jeff Webb, of the Air Force ROTC at N.C. State. "Sparks came out from under the doors. We evacuated the building."
"There were sparks coming out of that and it just started to smoke and I was told not to go into the building," said Mary Bryne, N.C. State volleyball coach. "So then I called my assistant coaches and people on that side of the building and told them to get out."
Officials say most of the damage occurred in two rooms -- an ROTC training room and a classroom with computers. The gym did not catch on fire, but is feared to have heavy smoke damage.
Reynolds Coliseum was undergoing renovations at the time, but officials said the fire was not related to the construction. Officials said that the construction of the building is what, in part, led to the lengthy time in bringing the fire under control, because firefighters needed more time to confirm the fire had not spread anywhere else.
A new alarm system is part of the renovation plan, but that and the other renovations are now on hold until investigators can figure out how badly Reynolds was damaged.
N.C. State basketball coach Herb Sendek and his staff are located in another building, officials said. They were evacuated from the building they were in as a precaution.
There were no injuries.
Reynolds Coliseum was home to N. C. State's men's basketball tradition for nearly five decades. The women's basketball team continues to use the historic venue.