Decision on extinguishing Jim Beam fire a ‘day or two’ away

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Bourbon mixes with water in the Kentucky River, Wednesday, July 3, 2019, following an overnight fire at a Jim Beam distillery in Woodford County, Ky. Firefighters from four counties responded to the blaze that erupted late Tuesday. (Pat McDonogh/Courier Journal via AP)

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The fire that destroyed a massive Jim Beam warehouse filled with aging bourbon in Kentucky continued to burn on Thursday as officials said the decision on whether to extinguish is still a day or two away.

Woodford County Emergency Management Director Drew Chandler says the only thing left burning is ethanol fumes. Officials believe letting the fumes burn will have less environmental impact than spraying the fire with water, which could wash the bourbon into a nearby creek that flows into the Kentucky River.

No one was injured in the blaze that erupted late Tuesday in the warehouse near the Woodford-Franklin county line.

State officials say some runoff has already entered the water. EPA officials have been on the scene since Thursday to help assess and contain the damage.

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