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Tesla Fremont Factory Suffers Another Fire, Investigation Underway

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

Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

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

No injuries were reported among employees and fire fighters present at the scene, the department said.

An undisclosed number of fire fighters had responded to the fire, which broke out before 5:00 p.m., at the Tesla facility at 45500 Fremont Boulevard. The incident was described as a two-alarm, commercial structure fire in a two-story building.

The fire apparently originated in an oven used in vehicle manufacturing operations, the department said, adding that cause of the fire was “under investigation” as of Monday evening.

The fire was “knocked down” in a matter of hours, the department said, and the fire-fighting crew had been released from the scene as of around 8 p.m.

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

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

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

Among jobs cut in Fremont in this latest wave of the layoffs were two directors of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), and a myriad of others involved in EHS, security, equipment maintenance and emergency services, according to filings by the company with the California Employment Development Division.

Tesla’s Fremont factory has a history of fires. For example, several fire incidents occurred at the factory from 2014 to 2018, including a mix of indoor and outdoor fires in 2018 alone, with more still in 2019 and 2021.

Fires at the Fremont factory in the past have sometimes necessitated a pause in production.

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 plant, and said that toxic air pollution should have been prevented.

The BAAMQD is now seeking an abatement order that would force Tesla to implement changes to its factory operations to prevent further pollution.

On Monday night, the BAAMQD told CNBC via e-mail that it was “aware of the fire and assessing” the situation in Alameda County.

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