Official: Lightning caused Jim Beam bourbon warehouse fire

VERSAILLES, Ky. — The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet says lightning sparked the fire at a Jim Beam warehouse that caused bourbon to leak into creeks and rivers.

News outlets report cabinet spokesman John Mura confirmed the cause Wednesday. The fire started July 2, destroying the Woodford County warehouse and about 45,000 barrels of bourbon.

Some alcohol flowed from Glenns Creek to the Kentucky River, and then to the Ohio River where, fish died. Jim Beam and environmental officials used equipment to restore oxygen to the water in an attempt to minimize the number of fish killed.

The cabinet said on Facebook that the alcohol plume is dissipating as it moves along the Ohio River.

Mura says the cabinet plans to issue Jim Beam a notice of violation that could lead to a fine.

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