Amidst a year filled with increasing pressure from top-level members of the finance sector and speculation that meeting production demands will remain an obstacle, Tesla received a painful blow this week when a fire erupted outside of the company's plant.
#BREAKING: flames ? and smoke. Fire at #Tesla production plant in Fremont. #teslafirepic.twitter.com/2CMMFBLMxA— Raj Mathai (@rajmathai) August 24, 2018
A fire erupts
The fire is reported to have started at around 5:30 PT time in the evening in the vicinity of a loose pile of cardboards located just outside the facility. The plant, which is located in Fremont, California, covers 370 acres of land, contains 12 superchargers, and employs approximately 10,000 workers.
Fire burning near Tesla plant in #Fremont
Officials say the fire started in a pile of cardboard and spread to grass https://t.co/vRok29CWzHpic.twitter.com/nszjKTryON
— KTVU (@KTVU) August 24, 2018
Local fire Division Chief Doug McKelvey, who was on the scene, described the challenges of putting out the fire: "A recycling area and a bailer was on fire, and it was threatening a couple of other outbuildings," he said. "The situation was complicated because power lines in the area had also caught fire along with the power pole."
Fire at #Tesla is extinguished. pic.twitter.com/HSt7RNrBK3— Fremont Fire Dept. (@FremontFire) August 24, 2018
“This evening, some cardboard and shipping materials being prepared for recycling on our southern fence line caught fire, along with a small patch of grass next to a Tesla parking lot,” a Tesla spokesperson further said in a statement to media website Electrek.
“The fire is now contained. We would like to thank the Fremont Fire Department for their rapid response. There are no injuries and we are investigating the cause," explained the statement. Tesla CEO Elon Musk confirmed the source of the fire and also expressed his appreciation for the fast work done in containing it.
I was just there. Cardboard being prepped for recycling along southern fence line caught fire. Super appreciate fast response by Fremont fire dept! No injuries or damage to factory.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) August 24, 2018
Tesla keeps bouncing back
The event is yet another example of Elon Musk and Tesla bouncing back from adversity. Many have linked the fire, which did not cause major damage, to the company's promise to drastically ramp up production on its Model 3 Sedans.
The company had halted production of the car twice this year, for the second time in April. The CEO spoke candidly about the rising challenges of establishing legitimacy for the company in an interview with the New York Times:
“This past year has been the most difficult and painful year of my career,” he said. “It was excruciating.”
The pressure of being a pioneer across multiple industries has been immense: it was also this month that, following his announcement on Twitter to go private with Tesla that he was reportedly hit with a subpoena by the U.S. Securities and Exchange (SEC).
Despite all of this, he continues to come back with lighthearted responses--Twitter seems to be his weapon of choice--combined with a spirit of refocusing, reassessing, and most importantly, recommitting, to helping Tesla, as well as all of his ambitious ventures, find a way to survive. It seems the CEO is committed to keep on blazing!