Lexington fire investigators arrested a man late Saturday in connection to five intentionally-set blazes that popped up throughout downtown on Friday and Saturday.
The man, Andy Wayne Hall, 23, has been charged with two counts of 1st degree arson and three counts of 2nd degree arson.
The fires started at 8:30 Friday night, when firefighters were dispatched to a stairwell fire in the Hyatt on High Street. The next day, they responded to a vehicle fire in the Park Plaza parking garage on Main Street, that was reported around 1:15 p.m. Less than four hours later, firefighters were called again, this time to a vehicle fire in the parking garage on South Broadway and High Street. Forty-five minutes later there was another vehicle fire in the Helix parking garage on Main Street.
There was one more fire Saturday night, back in the Hyatt on High Street. Around 7 p.m. crews responded to a fire on the 12th floor of the hotel.
Investigators arrested Hall after surveillance video was found showing him at scene of one or more of the fires, Major Rob King said. King is the commander of the arson investigation bureau with the Lexington Fire Department.
The danger posed by the fires downtown was “extreme,” King said.
The fire set in the 12th floor stairwell of the Hyatt Regency, effectively cutting off a potential evacuation route, was particularly dangerous, King said.
The vehicles were destroyed in the fires. Light fixtures were damaged in the parking structures. The Hyatt reported water and fire damage.
Investigators believe “excitement” was the main motive in the arson cases, King said.
Fire investigators believe that all five fires were started by one person.
The investigation is ongoing and the fire department asks anyone who may have seen anything or taken videos or pictures of the fires to contact the arson investigation bureau at 859-231-5672. Tips can also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or texted to 859-421-0112.