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Massive fire at Redlands warehouse burns Amazon trailers, briefly closes 10 Freeway

A three-alarm fire tore through a warehouse in Redlands early Friday, triggering a large response from firefighters and briefly closing a stretch of the 10 Freeway.

The blaze was reported at the warehouse in the 2200 block of West Lugonia Avenue about 5:30 a.m. About 100 employees were inside but evacuated before firefighters arrived, said Carl Baker, a spokesman for the city and its fire department. Fire officials have not reported any injuries.

Video from the scene showed massive flames engulfing the building and plumes of black smoke billowing into the air. One wall of the warehouse collapsed inward, Baker said.

Firefighters poured streams of water on flames that appeared to engulf almost all of the sprawling structure and began to burn truck trailers, some with Amazon logos, parked at loading docks.

Initial reports indicated the distribution center was an Amazon facility, but Baker said it was occupied by a company that contracts with the online retail giant.

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Kuehne and Nagel, the company that operates the site, helps Amazon ship extra-large items to customers, according to Amazon.

By about 9:15 a.m., there were still active flames at the building, and firefighters remained in a defensive position, battling the blaze from outside, Baker said.

“But it’s certainly a lot more controlled than it was earlier this morning,” he said.

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Officials remained concerned about the building’s structural integrity, and firefighters were keeping a safe distance in case any more walls collapsed.

“I would estimate it’s going to be a total loss,” Baker said of the building.

It was not immediately clear what caused the fire.

“We are glad everyone is safe, and thankful for the efforts of the local firefighters and first responders,” Lisa Levandowski, a spokeswoman for Amazon, said in a statement. “This site was operated by a third party and we will support them throughout this process.”

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No nearby Amazon sites were affected by the fire, and the company expects the blaze to have minimal impact on customers. Orders will be fulfilled from other locations, the company said.

The blaze prompted officials to close the 10 Freeway in both directions for more than an hour. The freeway reopened shortly after 7 a.m.


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