LOUISVILLE – A Jim Beam warehouse filled with about 40,000 bourbon barrels in Woodford County remains on fire Wednesday, according to officials.
Two barrel warehouses at the Jim Beam facility on McCracken Pike near the Franklin County line caught fire about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, said Drew Chandler, Woodford County Emergency Management director.
It’s unclear what caused the blaze, Chandler said.
One warehouse initially caught fire, with flames spreading to the second structure, but crews were able to put out flames in the second warehouse, Chandler said.
No injuries were reported, he added.
As of 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, Chandler said one warehouse with about 40,000 barrels of bourbon in it was still burning and that crews would probably need “a good six to eight hours” to finish fighting the blaze.
One standard bourbon barrel usually holds about 53 gallons of bourbon that eventually turns into around 150 to 200 750 milliliter bottles.
“I was standing 100 yards away (from the warehouse), and it’s hot,” Chandler said. “(Crews) can’t get close enough.”
A Versailles Police Department official said five or six agencies were responding to the fire, which is near the former Old Crow Distillery.
A spokesperson for Beam Suntory, the Chicago-based spirits company that owns Jim Beam, told the Courier Journal the firm is “working on a statement and will get back to you shortly.”
Jim Beam produces its bourbon whiskey in Clermont, Kentucky, roughly 25 miles south of Louisville.
“With the bourbon spirits, there’s just a lot of material to burn,” Chandler said. “You can’t throw enough water on it to knock (the flames) down.”
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