United Kingdom

Massive fire tears through Amazon distribution center and collapses as 40 workers scramble to safety

A massive fire destroyed a Southern California distribution facility that was used to ship items to Amazon customers on Friday morning. 

Incredibly there were no injuries and as 40 workers ran for their lives as the warehouse collapsed in the blaze. 

Half-a-dozen fire departments were unable to stop flames from destroying the sprawling structure in Redlands, about 60 miles east of Los Angeles. 

A fire tore through an Amazon Distribution Center in Redlands, California on Friday morning while people were working inside

There were about 40 employees inside when the fire broke out but all of them managed to escape without injury

Video from the scene showed huge flames and plumes of black smoke shooting hundreds of feet into the air

Amazon said the warehouse is operated by a third-party company called Kuehne and Nagel which specifically helps Amazon ship very large items

Thick plumes of smoke could be seen coming out of the building in Redlands, California, as firefighters battled the flames

The nearby 10 Freeway was shut down in both directions for several hours as flames shot high into the air.

The facility operated by the global logistics and supply chain company Kuehne & Nagel was dedicated to servicing Amazon. Business and customer orders will be fulfilled from other sites, spokesman Dominique Nadelhofer said in an email.

'We are not aware of any injuries and understand that everyone was safely evacuated,' Nadelhofer said. 

'We are mobilizing support resources for our employees that have been affected. To our knowledge, the cause of the fire is yet unknown.'

One employee told CBSLA that he didn't see sprinklers or hear any fire alarms.

'I didn't hear no fire alarms, I didn't see no fire sprinklers, nothing,' employee Chris Smith said. 

'I didn't hear no fire alarms, I didn't see no fire sprinklers, nothing,' employee Chris Smith said

The building is new and had the latest fire protection according to firefighters who are working to understand what happened

Despite the fire, Amazon expects minimal customer impact, as customer orders can be fulfilled from other locations

This image tweeted by the San Bernadino Fire Department shows firefighters attacking the flames from on high 

Trailers went up in flames as a blaze at a commercial building sent smoke towering into the air above Redlands Friday

Some employees and others who work in the area were standing outside the building as clouds of gray smoke continued to surround it

With the building’s roof completely scorched off, some flames were still burning in the blackened debris on the ground

The blaze was caught on cellphone video by workers who had escaped the blaze from inside

Amazon said the facility was used to ship large products and that it didn't expect the fire to impact customer deliveries.

'We are glad everyone is safe, and thankful for the efforts of the local firefighters and first responders,' said Amazon spokeswoman Lisa Levandowski.

Redlands City Manager Charles M. Duggan Jr. told Fox 11 there was no connection to the demonstrations over the death of George Floyd.

At least five fire engines were on site tackling the blaze as the fire continued to rage 

The thick smoke prompted local authorities to issue a health warning over the air quality in the area following the fire 

The warehouse complex has a square footage of about 1.1. million, which is roughly the size of 21 football fields

'It is definitely not protest-related. Something happened on the inside of the building that ignited the fire,' he said.

Fire Chief Jim Topoleski told Fox 11 that in addition to determining the cause, the investigation will look into how such a large fire occurred in a modern building with the latest in fire protection systems.

'Something overwhelmed the sprinkler system immediately to allow the fire to rapidly grow,' he said.

'That is highly concerning, we're looking at a modern building with the latest advances installed inside the building regarding fire protection systems,' Topoleski said. 'It's highly concerning, that's why we're bringing in outside resources to help us look at the cause and origin.' 

The region has many enormous e-commerce warehouse and distribution facilities.

Fire trucks pour streams of water on a warehouse fire  in Redlands, California after the blaze broke out on Friday morning

The fire destroyed the Southern California distribution facility that was used to ship items to Amazon customers but authorities said employees got out and there were no reports of injuries

Smoke rises from a burned warehouse. Investigators are collecting security video to try and determine what caused the blaze

Firefighters put out hot spots at a warehouse destroyed in Redlands just east of Los Angeles

Redlands Fire Capt. Dustin Whitaker surveys the damage at the warehouse that was destroyed in a fire

Football news:

Barca midfielder Fati is removed in the Derby with Espanyol. He spent 5 minutes on the field
Suarez scored 195 goals for Barcelona and finished third in the club's top scorer list
Daniele de Rossi: People call Messi cowardly, but they are afraid to ask their wives for a remote control from the TV
Daniele de Rossi: Ronaldo is comparable to Messi in goals and trophies, but Leo's game is more fun
Pep about 5:0 with Newcastle: Manchester City tries to score more goals out of respect for the tournament and the opponent
Who will enter the Champions League directly?
🚲Pique came to camp Nou on a Bicycle for the Espanyol Derby