A warehouse fire in the US state of Kentucky has destroyed an estimated 45,000 barrels of Jim Beam, generating so much heat that firetruck lights melted as they attempted to control the blaze.
Authorities in Woodford County were alerted to the incident at around 11.35pm local time, and the orange glow from the inferno was so intense that it could reportedly be seen from miles away.
The fire destroyed one whiskey-ageing warehouse and damaged the exterior of another, but firefighters were able to contain the flames and prevent them spreading to other nearby buildings.
More than 45,000 barrels of bourbon were likely destroyed after a fire broke out at a Jim Beam aging facility late last night – engulfing two storage buildings. ???????? pic.twitter.com/Pk9NYLfyMq— RTV6 Indianapolis (@rtv6) July 3, 2019
While 45,000 barrels is certainly a lot of piss, it represents just a little over a 1% fraction of the 3.3 million barrels of Beam stored in warehouses around Kentucky.
Representatives for the company said in a statement that given the relatively young age of the lost whiskey, “this fire will not impact the availability of Jim Beam for consumers.”
In other words, sesh lords, you’re still good for now, and there’s no need to go out panic buying bourbon just yet.
Bloomberg estimate that the financial cost of the blaze could be anywhere up to $300 million, but the environmental toll is also likely to be significant.
Runoff bourbon from the blaze is reportedly seeping into the Kentucky River, and local authorities say this could have a “serious impact” on aquatic life, lowering oxygen levels and killing fish.
Fortunately, nobody was hurt. Officials from Jim Beam are working with local authorities to assess the environmental effects of the fire.