Firefighters battled for more than an hour Tuesday evening to extinguish a blaze on the upper floor of the derelict Hyatt hotel.
Thick black smoke could be seen pouring from the roof of the building and across the skyline as commuters made their way home around 6 p.m. The source of the flames, on the upper level of the partially demolished building, made it particularly difficult to tackle. Ultimately, firefighters used cranes to douse the flames from above.
The hotel, once an icon of Cayman’s tourism industry, sustained significant damage after Hurricane Ivan and was never redeveloped since then. It was bought by the Dart group last year and is in the process of being demolished.
The building was empty at the time of the fire and no one was hurt.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Chief Fire Officer David Hails said, “It was a difficult one to extinguish because of the location and the fact that it is a demolition site. There was a lot of rubble in that area which made if difficult to use ladders and the officers had to use other equipment to get to the fire.”
The access road for residents in the Britannia estate was closed until 7:15 p.m. to allow emergency service vehicles to enter.
Dart Real Estate said in a press release that a security officer assigned to the property discovered the blaze shortly after 6 p.m., notified the rest of the security team and called 911.
“Dart Real Estate would like to assure the public every step is being taken for the site to remain secure while investigations continue. As with all of its property, Dart Real Estate places the safety and security of all first.”