Yuengling Brewery Fire ‘Could Have Been Far, Far, Far Worse’

The Yuengling Brewery fire on Saturday could have been “a Lot worse”. Jim Helmke, the plant manager said that “The fire looked a lot worse than it really was,”

He added that the $1 million fire at the company’s Tampa, Fla., factory would have no effect on the brewing operations or distribution. “It will be business as usual on Monday morning … We are very fortunate. It does look bad. There is a gaping hole and charred remains, but there is no internal damage, except for the hole in the wall.”

At the time of the Yuengling Brewery fire on Saturday, when the building was engulfed in flames, no one could have predicted that the damage would actually be relatively slight. Some 60 firefighters were summoned to the two-alarm fire, but The Tampa Tribune reported subsequently that the fire only damaged the exterior walls of the Yuengling Brewery.

From the street it appeared as though the entire five-story building was on fire, but the flames only spread to the top of the facade, which was supported by 60-year-old timbers.

“Though there is some damage, it’s nothing we can’t work around and continue to make beer,” Helmke said. “Fires are bad, but this could have been far, far, far worse.”

One firefighter was slightly injured battling the blaze and was hospitalized but none of the employees working at the brewery at the time of the fire were injured.

The Yuengling Brewery is the oldest in the US and is one of America’s largest beer producers. The brewery was originally owned by the Schlitz family and was sold to Yuengling in 1999.

As yet the actual cause of the fire has not been established. As with all fires, the Yuengling Brewery fire will be investigated, but at present there are no indications that the fire was anything other than an accident.