A fire at a Jim Beam warehouse in Kentucky destroyed around 45,000 barrels of "relatively young whiskey." Authorities believe a lightning strike started the blaze at the rickhouse where the barrels were stored as they aged. The fire quickly spread to another building.
"Initial reports are the fire resulted from a lightning strike, and we will work with local authorities to confirm the cause and to remediate the impacts," Jim Beam's parent company, Beam Suntory said in a statement.
Forty firefighters from five counties struggled to bring the massive blaze under control. They were able to extinguish the flames in the second structure, but the rickhouse collapsed due to the intense heat from the fire. The remnants of the building continued to burn well into Wednesday (June 3) morning.
Firefighters plan to let the fire burn itself out before sending in investigators to determine the exact cause of the fire.
"It's purposefully being allowed to burn for several more hours," Woodford County Emergency Management chief Drew Chandler said. "The more it burns, the less distilled spirits are in the debris.
Nobody was injured in the fire.