Investigators rule Amazon center fire as suspicious

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Investigators have ruled a small fire that broke out at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Chester and shut down the facility for hours Friday morning as suspicious.

According to spokesperson Lt. Jason Elmore, crews responded to the facility after a report of smoke inside. On scene, crews found a fire in a shipping bin which had already been extinguished.

No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Multiple Amazon workers blamed it on a disgruntled temporary employee.

“He said he was upset with the integrity coaches, so they said he tried to make a device, a bomb, to set to the mod on fire,” the employee explained

The center is located on Meadowville Technology Parkway, which is east of Interstate 295. The abrupt shutdown caused chaos outside the facility.

Employees told 8News reporter Roxie Bustamante that sprinklers inside went off. Many employees standing outside were wrapped in blankets due to being wet and the cold conditions.

Crews blocked off the entrance to the facility and would not allow employees to enter. Employees were allowed back inside the building nearly 13 hours later.

 

Amazon’s Regional Operations PR Manager Brenda Alfred released the following statement to 8News:

“We evacuated our building today as the safety of our employees is our top priority. We appreciate all the efforts of our local first responders today. As this is an active investigation, your questions would be best addressed by the Chesterfield County Police and Fire Departments.”

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