Fishes dead Jim Beam fire. Thousands of fishes were found dead in river nearby Jim Beam warehouse a massive fired occurred last week. The Kentucky River is littered with dead fishes on Sunday in the wake of a massive fire at a Jim beam bourbon warehouse.
The Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources said it was conducting wildlife assessments in an effort to determine a “fish kill count.” Officials warned residents to beware of “dead and dying fish.”
“We continue to see dead and dying fish. People using the Kentucky River in the area of the plume will likely see and smell dead fish,” Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet said in a statement. “We expect the plume to dissipate quickly at it enters the much, much larger body of water but there could be some impact to aquatic life immediately where the two rivers meet.”
A fire burned through two Jim Beam burbon warehouses in Versailles (Kentucky, USA) last week, where between 40,000 and 45,000 barrels of liquor are stored.
According to the emergency services, the Jim beam house fire started at 11.30 pm on Tuesday (5.30 am Wednesday in Spain) and continued hours later.
Each barrel of burbon contains approximately 200 liters of liquor, which translates into more than 250 bottles of 750 milliliters, so if all the barrels are full, the company could lose more than 10 million bottles.
It is not the first accident suffered by the stores of this brand of liquor. In 2018, about 18,000 barrels of burbon were lost when a warehouse in Bardstown, also in Kentucky, collapsed during construction work. The liquor even reached the nearby rivers, killing about 1,000 fish.
And five years before, on August 4, 2003, there was a fire in the same warehouse, which was controlled a couple of hours after it started and which resulted in no victims.
Officials from Jim Beam’s parent company, Suntory Food and Beverage, said the multi-story warehouse that burned contained “relatively young whiskey,” meaning it had not reached maturity for bottling for consumers.
“Given the age of the lost whiskey, this fire will not impact the availability of Jim Beam for consumers,” the spirits company said in a statement.
The whiskey maker suffered a total loss in the warehouse. The destroyed whiskey amounted to about 1% of Beam’s bourbon inventory, it said.
Jim Beam is the world’s largest bourbon brand. The classic American whiskey brand is owned by Suntory Holdings Ltd., a Japanese beverage company.
Authorities were alerted of the fire shortly after 11:35 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Chandler said. The fire’s orange glow could be seen miles away, he said.
Firefighters who withstood the intense heat were able to keep the fire from spreading to three other nearby storage warehouses, he said.
“It melted lights off some of the firetrucks, it got so hot,” Chandler said.
The destroyed warehouse, near the Woodford-Franklin county line, was about 100 yards (91 meters) from Glenn’s Creek, a tributary of the Kentucky River, he said. Existing containment berms were reinforced with sand to try to prevent runoff into the creek, he said.
Samples were taken from the creek but he didn’t know yet the results.
Beam Suntory officials said the distiller has a “comprehensive” warehouse safety program that includes regular inspections and “rigorous protocols” to promote safety. The distiller said it operates 126 barrel warehouses in Kentucky that hold about 3.3 million barrels of its brands.
The Beam fire was the latest warehouse loss suffered by a Kentucky distiller.
Last month, a storm caused the partial collapse of a warehouse at O.Z. Tyler Distillery in Owensboro. The distillery soon started the painstaking process of recovering barrels as part of the overall plan to take down the entire building.
Another Kentucky bourbon barrel warehouse collapsed last year. Half of a warehouse collapsed at the Barton 1792 Distillery in Bardstown in June 2018, and the other half came down two weeks later.
Kentucky distillers produce 95% of the world’s bourbon, according to the Kentucky Distillers’ Association.