The Old Louisville Tavern has been seriously damaged by a fire set by a “serial arsonist.” The fire at Old Louisville Tavern started around 3:40 a.m. this morning, July 22, and spread from a dumpster behind the building to the roof of the Tavern. The fire was one of a series of trash fires set in Old Louisville last night.
According to Major Henry Ott, Chief of Investigations for the Louisville Metro Arson Unit, “Last evening, starting at around 3 a.m. we had a series of set fires in the Old Louisville neighborhood. The first two instances were near First and Ormsby and the last two incidents culminated in a structure fire at the Tavern restaurant at 1532 South Fourth St. The investigation is still ongoing. At this time, we don’t have any suspects, but if anyone has information we would hope they would contact us and provide us with that.”
Dave "Yu", an employee of Tavern, was at the scene this morning and said:
“We [the employees at Tavern] closed down about three o’clock last night, and at three-thirty the fire department was called to respond to the fire. We had just left. It started as a trash fire in the back and apparently since this morning there’s been three more fires…so we’ve got a serial arsonist that’s going for the high count.”
A firefighter was injured at the scene of the fire at The Tavern. Says Major Ott: “Of most importance to us, (and it’s something we hope never happens but actually happened [during] this incident) was that a firefighter was injured at the fire on the Tavern restaurant on Fourth Street. He was struck by debris and he was transported to the hospital. Again, it’s just the serious nature and the danger [of the job] that these guys go out every day and put their lives on the line to protect peoples’ property.”
The Old Louisville Tavern was recently updated and renovated. According Business First, the bar area sustained primarily water damage.
Update, July 23: the LMPD have a suspect in custody.
Photos courtesy of Michelle Eigenheer