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Enough to make grown men cry: 45,000 barrels of bourbon go up in flames

Enough to make grown men cry: 45,000 barrels of bourbon go up in flames
A fire in Kentucky has destroyed a massive Jim Beam warehouse containing 45,000 barrels of aging bourbon. No one was injured in the incident which reportedly could have been caused by lightning.

The blaze erupted late Tuesday at around 11:30pm, with 40 firefighters from five counties rushing to help battle the fire. It was contained but was allowed to burn until midday Wednesday, according to Woodford County Emergency Management Director Drew Chandler.

“The longer it burns, the more of the distilled spirits burn with it,” he told AP. “So when they go to put it out, there will be less contaminated runoff that goes into a drinking-water tributary.”

A second warehouse has also caught fire but that blaze was controlled. The warehouses were the same area as a football field and six or seven stories high.

“We are thankful that no one was injured in this incident, and we are grateful to the courageous firefighters from multiple jurisdictions who brought the fire under control and prevented it from spreading,” company spokeswoman Emily York told CNN. “Given the age of the lost whiskey, this fire will not impact the availability of Jim Beam for consumers,” she said.

The wasted whiskey amounted to about one percent of Jim Beam’s bourbon inventory, according to the company. Jim Beam is the world’s best-selling bourbon brand.

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State officials are worried that runoff whiskey flowing into nearby waterways will kill fish.

A warehouse collapse last year in Kentucky during construction work, which resulted in a spill of 18,000 barrels of bourbon, killed about 1,000 fish in nearby waterways.

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