Warehouse collapse prompts request to avoid use of fireworks in area

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A partly collapsed warehouse on the distillery campus of Barton 1792 completely collapsed on the Fourth of July, spilling several gallons of environmentally-unfriendly alcoholic spirits onto the ground where it risked running into local waterways.

Milt Spalding with Nelson County Emergency Management and Dispatch told WAVE the call reporting the collapse came it at 2:20 p.m., and Bardstown firefighters arrived at the scene at 2:25 p.m.

On Wednesday, the remainder of a bourbon warehouse that partially collapsed last month came crashing down in Bardstown, Kentucky.

Spalding said state and federal officials are on the scene to determine if any bourbon spilled into nearby streams.

About 18,000 were in the warehouse before the first collapse - which affected an estimated 9,000 barrels - and the distillery says it is not yet known how many barrels from the second collapse can be salvaged.

A spokeswoman for Barton 1792 said after the first collapse, the rest of the building was not able to be secured because they were anxious about the safety of workers.

Almost 1,000 fish were found dead in Withrow Creek and the Beach Fork River near the Barton 1792 distillery in Bardstown, according to officials with the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet. Hundreds of fish were killed.

It's not clear how numerous barrels can be salvaged, local media reported. So with 9,000 barrels biting that dust, well, that's a lot of bourbon.

There are plans for a new warehouse to be built to store the recovered barrels. The spokesman said Barton 1792 moved quickly to stop the alcohol from entering the creek but didn't alert the state quickly enough.

The distillery's remaining warehouses, along with warehouses at two other two Sazerac-owned distilleries in Kentucky, have been inspected and determined to be safe, Amy Preske, a spokeswoman for Sazerac, said in a statement to the Courier Journal.

Following the first incident, the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet was planning to cite Sazerac for "failing to report the incident in a timely manner" and "polluting the waterways of the commonwealth".

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