"The warehouse that collapsed has a basement substructure to it, and it is acting as a pool for some of the distillate that is still continuing to burn off", he told WhiskyCast in a telephone interview Friday afternoon.
The Woodford County Fire and Versailles Police departments will remain on the scene until the fire is extinguished, officials said. Chandler said crews are not sure how much fluid remains below the debris.
Mura says an investigation by the Energy and Environment Cabinet along with Fish and Wildlife officials continues, and that Beam Suntory could be fined due to the fire and spill. State officials are also reporting fish kills and distressed fish.
"The damage can't get any worse", Chandler said. Fire crews placed aeration devices in Glenns Creek and the Kentucky River to stimulate oxygen and are blocking more runoff with sand. Meanwhile, Chandler said they've seen visitors from nearby Castle and Key distillery. The heat from the fire was so hot that it melted the firetruck's lights.
Lightning might have been a factor, but fire investigators haven't been able to start looking for the cause.
Sprinklers activated in the warehouse that burned, it said. If all of the barrels held bourbon, that would be a loss of at least 6.75 million bottles, the Courier Journal reported. "The fire department was valiant at controlling a very scary situation...hoping for the best for our friends at Jim Beam", Arvin said.
The distilling company said the multistory warehouse contained "relatively young whiskey", meaning it had not reached maturity for bottling for consumers. The Cabinet is sampling the water daily, and Beam Suntory, Jim Beam's parent company, has begun clearing debris to support the environmental cleanup.
"We are thankful that no one was injured in this incident", Jim Beam spokesperson Emily York said in a statement. "We continue to build additional warehouses in Kentucky as part of ongoing capacity expansion plans".