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KFD: Investigators searching for person of interest after fire breaks out in former Hotel Knoxville

Knox County 911 received a call early Thursday that a couch was on fire inside the former Hotel Knoxville, according to the Knoxville Fire Department.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The old Hyatt Hotel, also formerly known as Hotel Knoxville, suffered minor smoke damage and moderate water damage early Thursday after furniture caught fire, the Knoxville Fire Department said. 

A caller to Knox County 911 around 1:42 a.m. reported a couch was on fire inside the ballroom of the former Hotel Knoxville on Hill Avenue, according to KFD. 

When firefighters arrived, they reported heavy smoke on the ground level coming from the ballroom area. However, no flames were visible, KFD said. 

Firefighters also reported the fire alarm system was activated. The firefighters made a rapid-fire attack on the ballroom area and discovered several mattresses and pieces of furniture on fire, according to KFD. 

Credit: KFD
A piece of burned furniture.

KFD said the sprinkler system was activated and did help in controlling the fire. The fire was reported out at 2:05 a.m.

KFD said the building was occupied by construction workers at the time of the fire but no injuries have been reported.

The building opened in the early 1970s as the Hyatt. Over the decades it operated as a hotel under various owners and names.

Workers currently are renovating the building.

Investigators were able to obtain video footage of a person of interest who might have information about the fire. If you recognize him or have any information about this incident, submit a tip to 1-800-762-3017 or email KFDArson@knoxvilletn.gov. 

There is a reward of up to $1,000 for information that would lead to the prosecution of anyone involved in any criminal activity related to this fire. 

 

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