A Jim Beam facility ablaze in Kentucky -- with around 45,000 barrels of bourbon still inside -- continued to burn Wednesday morning, and officials say the fire may have been caused by a lightning strike.
Woodford County Emergency Management responded to reports of a fire at two Jim Beam buildings on McCracken Pike in Versaille at around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The agency’s Director, Drew Chandler, told the Courier-Journal it wasn’t immediately clear what caused the fire but it first began in one warehouse before quickly spreading to the second.
Firefighters were able to put out the flames in the second structure but, as of Wednesday morning, the blaze continued to burn in the first warehouse that held around 45,000 barrels of bourbon.
Chandler told the outlet he could still feel the intensity of the flames even 100 yards out, making it impossible for crews to “get close enough.”
Beam Suntory, the company that owns Jim Beam, told Fox News in an email that the product availability would not be affected by the fire.
“We operate 126 barrel warehouses in Kentucky that hold approximately 3.3 million barrels for our brands, and the warehouse that was destroyed contained 45,000 barrels of relatively young whiskey from the Jim Beam mash bill,”’ the statement said.
“Given the age of the lost whiskey, this fire will not impact the availability of Jim Beam for consumers.”
The company added that no one was injured in the fire and said that intial reports pointed to a possible lightning strike as the cause for Tuesday’s massive blaze.