LOUISVILLE, Ky. —
Sparks from a roofing contractor’s equipment are to blame for a massive, three-alarm fire at The Kentucky Center in downtown Louisville. Investigators say a contractor was repairing a water leak when sparks from a metal grinder landed on the roof and began the fire.
Crews responded just after 2 p.m. Wednesday after smoke was seen and smelled inside the building by contract workers. The fire was so massive and so difficult to get to, crews spent nearly three hours fighting to contain it.
According to fire officials, 70 crews worked to battle the flames until it was contained around 5 p.m.
To contain the fire, firefighters were helped by the contractors who installed the roof. That’s because smoke and flames were trapped between the exterior and the interior of the roof. The crews were seen atop The Kentucky Center peeling back multiple layers of the roof for 90 minutes.
But logistics aside, Louisville Fire Chief Greg Frederick said heat was also an issue. It was estimated the temperature reached into the triple digits for firefighters on the roof.
“EMS is doing a great job of keeping water in them and keeping them cooled down and as soon as we get them back to the point we’re sending them right back in, so it’s been a challenge for us,” Frederick told WLKY, early on.
He said later the damage inside from water, smoke, and flames was “extensive.”
Christian Adelberg with The Kentucky Center could not say for sure when the center would reopen, but promised it would be as soon as possible.
“The building will bounce back and it’ll come back better than ever. It’s just a bump in the road, a big bump but a bump nonetheless, a bump in the road,” Adelberg said.
For now, The Kentucky Center box office and building will be closed until further notice. Those with tickets for upcoming shows can expect emails with more information.
No injuries were reported Wednesday.