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Thousands of barrels of Jim Beam bourbon burn in Kentucky warehouse fire

Fire destroys Jim Beam whiskey warehouse

Versailles, Ky. — A massive fire destroyed a Jim Beam warehouse in northern Kentucky on Wednesday, but officials said no one was injured. Firefighters were working to extinguish the blaze at a warehouse in Versailles, which is filled with about 45,000 barrels of bourbon.

Two barrel warehouses caught fire late Tuesday night. One warehouse initially caught fire with flames spreading to the second structure, Drew Chandler of Woodford County Emergency Management told CBS Lexington, Kentucky, affiliate WLKY-TV.

Crews were able to put one out, but the other kept burning for hours. Chandler said it may have been caused by lightning.

A nearby road has been shut down as crews fight the blaze. Multiple agencies are working to put the fire out. An emergency response team based in Lexington is bringing foam to the scene. Chandler estimated firefighters will be working at the scene late into Wednesday night. WLKY-TV shared photos of the massive blaze on Twitter.

Dan Cohen, a spokesperson for Jim Beam's parent company Beam Suntory, said no one was hurt in the fire. The company thanked first responders at the scene. "We have a comprehensive warehouse safety program that includes regular inspections and rigorous protocols to promote safety and the security of our aging inventory," Cohen said. 

"We operate 126 barrel warehouses in Kentucky that hold approximately 3.3 million barrels for our brands, and the warehouse that was destroyed contained 45,000 barrels of relatively young whiskey from the Jim Beam mash bill. Given the age of the lost whiskey, this fire will not impact the availability of Jim Beam for consumers."

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