FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) - Cleanup is underway after a fire that broke out over the weekend caused damage to the Administrative Office of the Courts building in Frankfort.
According to AOC spokesperson Leigh Anne Hiatt, there was a small electrical fire at the Administrative Office of the Courts in the early hours of Saturday, Sept. 19.
“The fire started in a piece of equipment in one of the small conference rooms off of the main entrance,” she said. “While there is minimal damage from the fire itself, there is extensive water damage to the lobby, the conference rooms, several offices in the Department of Human Resources and one office in the Department of Juvenile Services. We anticipate that the clean-up effort will take three to five days.”
The Department of Court Facilities is assessing the damage and the building was closed Monday to allow SERVPRO to begin cleaning the damaged areas. Only essential personnel whose duties require them to be on-site will be permitted in the building on Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 22-23.
Hiatt says the fire will not affect court operations. “Because of COVID-19, the majority of employees who work on-site at 1001 Vandalay Drive, can readily transition to working remotely.”
The AOC has a drive-thru area at the back of the building which provides criminal record reports, and that service was closed on Monday; but Hiatt says they will reopen the drive-thru services on Tuesday.
Fortunately, there was no damage to the server room, which is where the computer system is located that serves the court system statewide, as well as their public website, kycourts.gov.
Hiatt adds, “We’re very grateful that no one was injured, and the damage was not any worse. We’re also hopeful for a fast and comprehensive cleanup.”
The Administrative Office of the Courts is the operational arm of the Judicial Branch of government in Kentucky and supports court facilities and programs in all 120 counties, from the Frankfort campus.
The AOC was established in 1976 as a result of the Judicial Article. That created Kentucky’s unified court system and made the chief justice head of the state court system, which is also known as the Kentucky Court of Justice.
The AOC carries out duties that are mandated by the Kentucky Constitution, including administering the Judicial Branch budget, building and maintaining court facilities, maintaining court statistics through a statewide case management database, administering personnel policies and payroll for court personnel, and providing educational programs for judges, circuit court clerks and support staff.