LOUISVILLE (WHAS11) -- The July 6 Whiskey Row fire was declared accidental on July 9, according to Louisville Fire Major Henry Ott.
Ott said it was caused by combustibles that were ignited by a cutting torch, which was used earlier on Monday by work crews at Whiskey Row.
Fire crews had initially suspected it started in some beams inside the building and confirmed it by using one of their drones, Ott said. The basement and first level were engulfed in flames when crews arrived to fight the fire on Monday.
Louisville-based Donan volunteered the services of its new technology to aid with the investigation of the Whiskey Row fire that damaged the historic Whiskey Row buildings along Main Street.
The technology allows an unmanned ground vehicle--or robot--to gather evidence, including still and video footage, to assist investigators in determining the initial cause of damage, especially after fires or weather-related catastrophes. This technology, named Scio Surveyor 7 by Donan, enables investigators to get a closer look at the site without endangering the safety of personnel and at the same time, explore the damage more closely and record findings in-depth.
With this technology investigators are able to view burn patterns, compare actual damage data with eye witness accounts and assemble irrefutable evidence required for insurance claims procedures.
The Whiskey Row Project group hoped to have operating venues in Whiskey Row by September 2016. Ron Carmichael of the McCall Group, which serves at the owner's representative for the project, said the project was on track to meet that goal prior to the fire.