Fayette County

Lexington hotel fire displaces guests, temporarily knocks out power downtown

Downtown Hyatt
Downtown Hyatt Staff File

A fire in the basement of a Lexington hotel led to a temporary power outage for multiple buildings downtown Sunday afternoon.

Firefighters were called to the Hyatt beside Rupp Arena on West High Street a little after 2 p.m. Sunday for a private alarm, Lexington fire Major Jordan Saas said. When they arrived at the hotel, firefighters found smoke in the basement that was spreading to other floors of the building.

Fire officials were able to find that there was an electrical fire in a box that contained a transformer in the hotel’s basement, Saas said. Though the fire was contained to the box, it knocked out power to the hotel and other downtown businesses.

At one point, the Kentucky Utilities power outage map showed that more than 1,000 customers downtown were without power Sunday afternoon. The larger outage was resolved fairly quickly, leaving only the Hyatt without power.

Guests and employees were evacuated from the Hyatt as the smoke spread from the basement, eventually reaching the top floor of the hotel, Saas said. The guests were taken to the the food court of the Lexington Center next door, and the hotel was working to find other accommodations for them, he said.

As of about 4:40 p.m., firefighters were using fans to pull the smoke out of the large hotel, Saas said. They expected it would take about an hour to clear the building so that employees and guests would be able to go inside safely.

The damage caused by the fire was moderate and isolated to the box that contained the transformer in the hotel’s basement, Saas said. Officials were working to make repairs and restore power to the hotel.