Two massive fires erupted at a Jim Beam aging facility in Woodford County, right outside of Lexington, Kentucky late Tuesday.
According to WLEX, a call to report the fire came at around 11:30PM Tuesday night. The blaze was reported along McCracken Pike near Versailles, Kentucky.
What initially thought was caused by a lightning strike has not yet been confirmed, per WLEX. Authorities do know that one of the rickhouses, where barrels of bourbon are stored as they age, initially caught fire, eventually spreading to the other nearby structure.
The alcohol made the fire extremely difficult to put out, as officials have witnessed once put out blazes become reignited, as fighting a fire fueled by alcohol and wood is no easy task.
“Approximately 40,000 barrels of bourbon are in the warehouse that was still burning,” said an official to the Courier-Journal.
As of 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, Woodford County Emergency Management Director Drew Chandler said about 40,000 barrels of bourbon are still in the fire-stricken facility and that crews would probably need “a good six to eight hours” to finish fighting the blaze, according to the Courier-Journal.
“I was standing 100 yards away (from the warehouse), and it’s hot,” Chandler said. “(Crews) can’t get close enough.”
Jim Beam Waiting to Release a Statement
Beam Suntory, the parent company of Jim Beam based in Chicago, said it is going to wait until it releases an official statement, per the Courier-Journal.
The firm is “working on a statement and will get back to you shortly.”
Jim Beam makes its bourbon whiskey in Clermont, Kentucky, a town about 25 miles south of Lousiville.
Although WLEX reports there have been no injuries reported as of now, Chandler said it might be while until this fire is under control.
“With the bourbon spirits, there’s just a lot of material to burn,” Chandler told the Courier-Journal. “You can’t throw enough water on it to knock (the flames) down.”