Distillery owner: I plan to rebuild after deadly fire
For the first time since the distillery fire at Silver Trail in Marshall County, Kentucky that resulted in one of his employee's death, Spencer Balentine spoke to Local 6's Blake Stevens.
The 59 page Kentucky State Fire Marshal report points to a couple of manufacturing errors by Revenoor Alcohol Stills, according to Balentine. Now that he has proof of the events that occurred 4 months ago, Balentine decided to tell his story.
The report outlines an incorrect valve and a loose part on the still to which Balentine said,“They’re supposed to be welded all the way around. Well, it wasn’t." He filed a lawsuit, claiming the Revenoor Company was negligent. He said it is a priority of his to bring justice to the families of Jay Rogers and Kyle Rogers. “My hurdle is just getting Jay and Kyle the justice they deserve and I’m going to do it,” he told Local 6.
Balentine recalled the morning of the distillery fire, saying, “I could see that haze and I just took off running immediately."
He told Local 6 it has been tough but the outpouring of support has helped. “It's kind of restored my faith in humanity, I tell you. We've had an outpouring from all over the world. From China, New Zealand, all my moonshiner fans from across the united states.”
Kyle Rogers, who died as a result of the fire, will be memorialized by having his name on the back of every LBL bottle. Jay Rogers was promoted to master distiller and has about 9 months left of physical therapy.
Balentine plans to rebuild the distillery. “We have no intention of going out of business. Silver Trail and LBL is here to stay,” he said.