SpaceX fire at Port Canaveral caused by building maintenance

Hot ember started flames

By Suzy Fleming Leonard , Florida Today
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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The Sunday afternoon roof fire at a SpaceX building at Port Canaveral has been ruled an accident, a Cape Canaveral Fire Department spokesman said.

News 6 partner Florida Today reports that the state fire marshal was at the Magellan Road site until about 9 p.m. Sunday, said Assistant Fire Chief Chris Quinn. A crew was using a grinder on the side of the building Thursday or Friday. A hot ember sparked from that work landed on a piece of wood, and eventually ignited. It was accidental, he said.

A passerby on State Road 401 reported seeing smoke coming from the rooftop of a building at 4:46 p.m. Sunday, Quinn said. 

The Cape Canaveral Fire Department and Brevard County Fire Rescue responded.

James Gleeson of SpaceX issued this statement Sunday night: “This afternoon a small fire occurred on the roof of a SpaceX building at Port Canaveral. Thanks to the Canaveral Fire Rescue and the Brevard County Fire Rescue, who responded within minutes, the fire was extinguished. There was no damage to any SpaceX equipment or hardware as a result of the fire."

Quinn said the fire was relatively minor, but it was difficult to access.

"It's a very large building," he said, rising a little more than two stories.

One Cape Canaveral firefighter was transferred to Cape Canaveral Hospital, where he was treated for heat exhaustion, Quinn said.

"They gave him some fluids," he said. "Everything is OK."

SpaceX moved into the building in March.

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