Just days after a suspected lightning strike burned down two barrel houses of aging bourbon whiskey, the devastating effects of the disaster are coming to light.
According to WLEX in Lexington, Kentucky, two barrel houses at this Jim Beam aging facility caught fire late Tuesday night after a small fire started and then quickly grew and spread.
Fire crews were dispatched to handle the blaze and were seemingly able to extinguish the blaze in one of the buildings, but the other barrel house was still burning on Wednesday morning. Now, they are still operating controlled fires on the remainder.
Jim Beam confirmed to the local news agency that the houses held roughly 45,000 barrels of what they described as “relatively young” bourbon – all of which had been lost.
Right now, investigators suspect the cause of the fire was a lightning strike, but they have not issued a formal statement and the case is ongoing.
— Senait Gebregiorgis (@SenaitTV) July 3, 2019
The facility, which sits right on the Kentucky River, unfortunately, leaked an unknown number of barrels of whiskey into the river and it has killed off thousands of fish.
Believe it or not, officials have had to issue a warning to the public to NOT EAT THE DEAD OR DYING FISH because it could be hazardous to their health.
Most of the fish were either catfish, perch, or carp. Crawfish also were discovered living in that part of the river as well.
We are starting to see the environmental results of the Jim Beam fire. Thousands of dead fish are floating down the Kentucky River following runoff from the plant. In terms of the fire, it is still burning. It is a small controlled burn expected to last another day. @WKYT pic.twitter.com/rXGUZOXPex
— WKYT Nick Oliver (@WKYTNick) July 5, 2019
Boaters nearby said they could smell the bourbon on the river near Frankfort Boat Club as they were enjoying the outdoors on the Fourth of July.
Watch this news video about the incident below and let us know what you think in the comments below.