Thousands of barrels of bourbon lost in fire at Jim Beam facility in Kentucky

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Posted at 5:53 AM, Jul 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-03 09:13:41-04

KENTUCKY — Two barrel houses at a Jim Beam aging facility in Woodford County, Kentucky, went up in flames late Tuesday, spurring a massive response from area emergency and fire crews that continued into Wednesday morning.

Officials said the call came out about 11:30 p.m. reporting the blaze at the barrel houses along McCracken Pike near Versailles, Kentucky.

Authorities said one of the rickhouses, where barrels of bourbon are stored as they age, caught fire and eventually spread to the other nearby structure.

Crews at one point had the fire in the first barrel house put out, but it reignited, showing the difficulty of fighting a blaze fueled by both wood and alcohol.

Officials say the fire may have been sparked by a lightning strike, but that remains unconfirmed at this time.

The Bluegrass Emergency Response Team and fire crews from Winchester, Kentucky, brought in a foam material to help smother the flames, which continued to burn Wednesday morning.

A local business called Woodford Feed also brought in sand to build embankments around the damaged rickhouses to prevent leakage into nearby creeks.