A massive fire tore through an contracted Amazon Distribution warehouse in Redlands, California earlier today.
The fire, which started around 5:30 a.m. Friday morning and quickly spread through the warehouse. According to various reporting, there were between 40-100 employees working at the time.
Workers who were in the warehouse at the time of the blaze told CBS Los Angeles that although the building was relatively new, it seemed the fire suppression systems along with the fire alarm never triggered.
“All I could hear is my supervisors yelling fire and get out of the building as fast as you can,” said Aquila Canteen during an interview with CBS Los Angeles. According to the employees, within 15 minutes the entire building collapsed.
“I didn’t hear no fire alarms, I didn’t see no fire sprinklers, nothing,” employee Chris Smith told CBSLA.
“That is highly concerning, we’re looking at a modern building with the latest advances installed inside the building regarding fire protection systems,” Redlands Fire Chief Jim Topoleski told CBSLA. “It’s highly concerning, that’s why we’re bringing in outside resources to help us look at the cause and origin.”
The fire is being investigated, and several outlets are reporting that fire officials were able to retrieve security camera footage from within the warehouse. Topoleski said the speed of spread in this fire was “highly unusual.”
The building was reportedly owned by the logistics firm Kuehne and Nagel which handles bulky products for Amazon. “We are glad everyone is safe, and thankful for the efforts of the local firefighters and first responders,” said Eileen Hards, an Amazon spokeswoman. Hards said the company expects “minimal” impact to customers. “Customer orders will be fulfilled from other locations,” she said.