Cars flipped, fires started on State Street as fans celebrate UK win


Some fans on State Street started fires following UK's Final Four win over rival Louisville. Photo by Scott Hannigan | STAFF

Related link: Crowd of thousands starts fires, destroy cars on State Street after Cats win; UK officials release statements.

Related link: PHOTOS: Crowds erupt around campus after UK win.

State Street was closed during nearly the entire UK-Louisville Final Four game.

Police released pepper spray on the crowd, which included fans on top of cars, almost immediately after the game ended. UK won 69-61.

A car with a smashed-in window was trying to make its way through the crowd. Fireworks started exploding shortly after 8:30 p.m. on State Street and shortly after, at the corner of Woodland and Euclid.

Around 8:40 p.m., a car was flipped on State Street and multiple fires were occurring. At the same time, at least 2,000 people had gathered at the corner of Woodland and Euclid avenues. Couches were also on fire on State Street.

At 8:53 p.m., a car was reported on fire on the 200 block of State Street, according to the police scanner.

Related link: VIDEOS: Car lit on fire on State Street.

The scanner reported an injury from a beer bottle on Conn Terrace at 8:58 p.m.

At 9:02 p.m., a couch fire was reported at Rose and Maxwell streets. Couches were also reported on fire on State Street, and near Elizabeth Street and Transcript Avenue in the same area.

Around 9:10 p.m., fans uprooted the stop signs from State Street.

At 9:30 p.m., parts of Maxwell Street were being closed and there was heavy traffic congestion on southbound South Upper Street.

About 9:35 p.m., police starting forming a line in the 200 block of State Street to move people out.

On South Limestone, conditions were much calmer. The road was closed, but fans were out celebrating and taking pictures with police.

At 10 p.m., police were lined up on State Street to start moving crowds. People were throwing beer bottles and other objects at police. Multiple cars had been flipped over.

Other couch fires were reported around Maxwell and Upper streets.

At 10:30 p.m., injuries were being reported from State Street, many from thrown beer bottles. There were also reports of the mounted police unit helping to clear crowd. Lots of noise from crowds could be heard from the police scanner.

At 10:58 p.m., a large fire was reported in the middle of the road on Transcript Avenue.

Police were still trying to control crowds on State Street at 11 p.m. Arson investigators were on the scene and people were being arrested for throwing bottles.

At 11:03 p.m., UK head coach John Calipari tweeted: “#BBN, I’m as happy as anyone for our players to win, but please celebrate safely tonight. Remember, we still have one more to go.”

LexTran reported that Cats Cruiser would not operated at all Saturday night and early Sunday morning due to street closures and conditions.

UK spokesman Jay Blanton released a statement just after midnight:

“We appreciate the work of public safety officers at UK and Lexington in addressing the incidents this evening. It is unfortunate that a small number of people are using what should be a night of celebration as an excuse to attempt to tarnish the university and the community. To the extent that students are involved in any illegal activity or actions that violate the university’s student code, they will be dealt with appropriately.”

At 12:53 p.m., a chair was reported on fire on University Avenue.

At 1:30 a.m., the university reported that all roads were reopened around campus.

As of midnight, at least 39 fires had been responded to or reported, said UK spokeswoman Kathy Johnson, who had been in contact with the fire department. The fire department had also made at least 12 first-aid runs.

UK police made three arrests Saturday evening on campus, one for drunken driving and two for alcohol intoxication, said Johnson on behalf of UK police Chief Joe Monroe. One couch burning was reported on campus, on either Pennsylvania Street or Court. No other damage was reported on campus.

The Kernel will update off-campus numbers, which will include State Street, as information comes in.

All of the media is making it seem like there was so much property damage and so many people being hurt and everything getting destroyed in Lexington. Yeah, there were some stupid things that happened, but overall this was NOTHING!! The most damage done was to a car that was set on fire, likely by the person who owns it! Maybe 30 people out of all of the UK fans did something stupid during the Final Four celebrations and all of a sudden everyone uses that as a reason to bash the university and it’s fans. Shut up already people. Have you seen how bad it gets in Los Angeles when the Lakers win championships?! It’s a hundred times worse. Go crawl back into your holes and hate on UK to yourself because no one else wants to hear it.

After looking at the celebration? The ones tearing down a public street sign should be suspended from school and fined for destroying property. I think all those that set fires, destroyed property make the winning team look bad. How proud parents should be looking at students acting this way.

(Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life) This famous quote from Animal House speaks volumes?

As a UK alum, I am totally embarrassed by these idiot students. There was so much criticism of IU students who rushed the floor after they won in December. “Act like you’ve been there before” was the gist of the comments. This is totally classless. If all our students can imitate is West Virginia, we’re in trouble. And this before a possible win on Monday night? You can party without the vandalism. So ashamed of them. Too bad they all didn’t pass out in the middle of Limestone or Waller before they started acting like barbarians.

Yes, one street in one notorious neighborhood lived up to the self fulfilling prophecy that everyone would act irresponsibly. Judging by the comments on this page you would think UK invented raccous fan behavior. Get off your high horse and realize this has happened and will continue to happen whenever you add alcohol, sports fanaticism, and children with no appreciation for work…regardless of the area.

Those fans that acted like morons should be identified and that won’t be too hard with all the recordings made on telephones and cameras. Then expel those that are students, so indicate on their records the reason for expulsion and then those that have students loans, cancel those loans and require immediate payment back to the lending agency. These kinds of “events” can be stopped and these actions will lead toward that direction.

I am truly proud of the CATS and truly disappointed in the behavior of the students back in Lexington. You deserve whatever punishment might be dished out to you. Maybe next time our students will behave with some class and dignity.

I can’t believe you celebrate the team’s success by tearing apart your beloved town. So sad.

Hey, Kentucky fans. Ever heard of acting like you’ve been there before? Not only are you an embarrassment to your school, you’re an embarrassment to all sports fans, from tee ball, to curling. Grow up stay, off the moonshine, leave your sister alone, and brush your teeth. ROCK….CHOCK……JAYHAWK….KU!!!

Oh I love all of the UK haters who just love to generalize all fans and say that we are all idiots. Yes there are idiots out there, just as there are some for YOUR favorite team. So it would be great if you all would relax and let people who want to go crazy, go crazy.

Burn all you can. Go crazy. Be nuts. Everyone on here saying we are representing the school bad can go to another school if they want. Cats baby.

Wait, where did the videos go?!? There was a video showing the over-turned Impala on State street actually being lit on fire. I refreshed the page and it’s gone! Any help?

Most unfortunate to see. This is something I would expect to see after the national championship win. Even then… would be a poor showing from any team. Let’s be honest though folks… this isn’t just Kentucky fans. These are college students. They don’t think about repercussions…side effects or the possibility of screwing themselves over. For them it is drunken fun. It’s NOT excusable. I don’t condone any of it. It’s infantile. It’s embarrassing. It’s just not right. From any team. At any time. I’m glad, as a UK fan, I live 1200 miles away from that stuff.

Not a Baskeballfan at all. Aside from one flipped car looks pretty innocent. Minus the thug looking brothas.

@Divingdacer What can I say? Our coach makes me cringe. So do a bunch of our fans. But gotta love the heart that the players show. Gotta cheat for my team.

Cool. OSU loses. So we only have one of the two dirtiest programs in the country in the championship. And it isn’t Kansas!

I’m sure the UK fans are so proud right now ;-)

Ok.. You win.. Congrats. Should you celebrate? Obviously, you’re going to the national championship game. Should you riot like the complete morons that you are? No. Stay classy, UK fans.. Stay classy.

Congrats but you have another team to beat before the title. What if they win Monday nite(?). That remains to be seen since Kansas and Ohio are doing a great job right now. If UK does win…what’s gonna be on surveillance? Take cover Lexington!!

Yup, nothing says “celebration” quite like attacking innocent people and destroying other people’s property. With fans like that, who needs felons. Oh wait…

By the way, congratulations to Kentucky. Truly awesome group of young men. Some of the best basketball every played.

Ah yes. The most corrupt coach in college basketball, with the most classy fans in college basketball. Morons.

You are all on video surveillance. You have just ruined your chances of getting a job. Grow up and celebrate like pros, not idiots. Destroying a business owners property, or causing your town to incur costs is not celebrating.

Whose car did you burn? Was it someone’s mother’s? How about you burn your own freaking car. Thanks to Facebook and facial recognition, we can actually name the lunatics who have done this.