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Thousands of Barrels of Jim Beam Bourbon Burned in a Warehouse Fire

Helen Murphy
Barrels of Jim Beam Bourbon Burned in a Warehouse Fire

A Jim Beam warehouse in Versailles, Kentucky filled with about 45,000 barrels of bourbon has caught fire, multiple outlets report.

According to WLKY-TV, two barrel warehouses erupted in flames late Tuesday night. One warehouse was able to be extinguished, but the other has remained burning for hours. Woodford County Emergency Management Director Drew Chandler told the outlet that the fire may have been caused by lightning.

The outlet reported that the warehouse would remain on fire for “quite some time,” and Chandler estimated that firefighters would be working into late Wednesday night.

Dan Cohen, spokesman for Jim Beam’s parent company Beam Suntory, told WKYT that no one was hurt in the fire, and also thanked the first responders at the scene.

“The warehouse that was destroyed contained 45,000 barrels of relatively young whiskey from the Jim Beam mash bill,” Cohen said. “Given the age of the lost whiskey, this fire will not impact the availability of Jim Beam for consumers.”

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Woodford County Emergency Management and Beam Suntory did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.

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According to CNN, Chandler explained that the warehouses are about the same size as a football field, rising about six or seven stories high.

To prevent the bourbon from polluting nearby sources of drinking water, a local business is bringing sand to control the runoff, according to WKYT, and Chandler told CNN that they are allowing the fire to continue burning.

“It’s purposefully being allowed to burn for several more hours,” he told the outlet. “The more it burns, the less distilled spirits are in the debris.”