The Tesla Fremont factory suffers another fire, investigation is ongoing

An aerial view of the Tesla Fremont factory on April 24, 2024 in Fremont, California.

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

A fire broke out Tesla's vehicle assembly plant in Fremont, California on Monday afternoon, according to a statement from the Fremont Fire Department posted at social network.

There were no injuries among employees and firefighters at the scene, the department said.

An undisclosed number of firefighters had responded to the fire, which broke out at the Tesla facility at 45500 Fremont Boulevard before 5 p.m. The incident was described as a two-alarm commercial fire in a two-story building.

The fire apparently started in a furnace used in vehicle production, the department said, adding cause of the fire was 'under investigation' on Monday evening.

The fire was “under control” within hours, the department said, and fire crews were extricated from the scene around 8 p.m.

The Fremont factory is Tesla's first mass EV production facility. It was the first to produce the company's popular Model 3 sedans and Model Y crossover utility vehicles, as well as the more expensive Model S sedan and Model X, an SUV with falcon-wing doors.

On May 17, 2024, Tesla celebrated one milestone for its Fremont factory in conjunction with their battery plant outside Reno, Nevada, saying they had surpassed production of 3 million vehicles.

Monday's fire followed major layoffs at the Elon Musk-led automaker. Tesla recently cut another 601 jobs in California, including 164 at its Fremont factory.

Among the jobs cut in Fremont during this latest wave of layoffs were two directors of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), and a host of others involved in EHS, security, equipment maintenance and emergency services, according to documents obtained the company has filed with California. Department of Employment Development.

Tesla's Fremont factory has a history of fires. For example, several fire incidents occurred at the factory between 2014 and 2018, including a mix of indoor and outdoor fires in 2018 alone, and even more in 2019 and 2021.

Fires at the Fremont plant in the past have sometimes forced production pauses.

Tesla did not respond to a request for further information on Monday evening.

Local environmental regulators, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAMQD), recently accused Tesla of allowing “unabated emissions” at the Fremont factory, saying toxic air pollution should have been prevented.

The BAAMQD is now looking for one reduction order that would force Tesla to make changes to its factory operations to prevent further pollution.

On Monday evening, the BAAMQD told CNBC via email that it was “aware of the fire and assessing the situation in Alameda County.”

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