CLARK COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Overnight thunderstorms are being blamed for a massive fire that destroyed a barn belonging to a local winery and vineyard, officials say.
Clark County fire officials say lightning struck a barn at Harkness Edwards Vineyard on Combs Ferry Road late on Wednesday night. The lightning sparked a fire so large it could be seen from at least four miles away.
The barn was used as the vineyard's tasting room, and was where the wine was stored. Firefighters say the supply of alcohol in the barn acted as a source of fuel, keeping the fire burning even in the rain.
WKYT's news crew reported they were a safe distance from the fire, but even from where they were standing, they could hear glass bottles breaking from the intense heat inside that barn.
"Alcohol is fuel. It was a pretty intense fire. Luckily, there were no structures real close to it," says Ernest Barnes, Clark Co. Fire Chief.
A Clark County firefighter suffered a back injury while on the scene. Officials say he was taken to the hospital for examination, but the injury is not expected to be serious.
Although the wine being kept in the barn is now destroyed, the family is left to figure out what to do with several acres of grapes as they get close to harvesting. Neighbors tell WKYT the family who owns the vineyard is now hoping to sell their grapes to other local wineries.