Massive Fire Destroys Jim Bean Warehouse, Burns 40,000 Barrels of Bourbon

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July 03, 2019Jul 03, 2019

A Jim Beam warehouse caught fire late Tuesday and burned for hours. Firefighters struggled to contain the massive blaze, which was fed by the alcohol in the debris, reported CNN.

The warehouse, in Versailles, Kentucky, caught fire around 11:30 p.m. Police Lt. Michael Fortney said a security guard called to report the fire.

The blaze required forty firefighters from five counties. During the fire, a second warehouse also caught fire. Luckily, that blaze was controlled.

The warehouse where the fire started has collapsed. It held approximately 40,000 barrels of spirits.

CNN reached out to Beam Suntory, the parent company of Jim Beam, for comment. They have not received a response.

Woodford County Emergency Management chief Drew Chandler said the warehouses are massive. They cover the same area as a football field and are six or seven stories high.

There was lightning in the area, which may have cause the fire. It is currently too large and too hot to get a fire investigator near it.

"It's purposefully being allowed to burn for several more hours," Chandler said. "The more it burns, the less distilled spirits are in the debris."

Burning off the alcohol will help efforts make sure that it doesn't pollute water sources. There is drinking water nearby.

In 2018, about 18,000 barrels of bourbon were lost when a warehouse in Bardstown, Kentucky, collapsed during building work. The bourbon run off killed about 1,000 fish in nearby waterways.

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