Transformer explodes at Reynolds Coliseum

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Reynolds Coliseum, the historic basketball
coliseum at North Carolina State, caught fire Monday morning after
a transformer exploded.

About 50 people were evacuated from the coliseum, campus police
dispatcher Katie Runner said. A firefighter was treated for
heat-related injuries, Raleigh fire chief Tommie Styons said.

A transformer on the east side of the building exploded and
began shooting out sparks, Runner said. A fire burned in the
basement for more than an hour before firefighters brought it under

N.C. State won two NCAA men's basketball championships while
playing in the coliseum, but quit playing there several years ago
to move into the larger RBC Center.

The women's basketball team continues to play there. The
building also houses offices for gymnastics, volleyball and women's

Men's basketball coach Herb Sendek and his staff were evacuated
from their nearby office building as a precaution.

"Obviously, there's a lot of nostalgia and history and a lot of
special memories," Sendek said. "I think right now we just have
to wait and see what the damage is."

The coliseum was built in 1949 and named for William Neal
Reynolds, the brother of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company founder.