Tesla suffers another fire at Calif. plant

Tesla vehicles sit outside a newly constructed production tent at the company’s manufacturing plant in Fremont, Calif., on Wednesday. The tent was unaffected by Thursday’s fire, a company spokeswoman said. Photo credit: BLOOMBERG

A machine used for paper recycling caught fire late Thursday at Tesla Inc.’s Fremont, Calif., campus, outside the company’s assembly plant, but manufacturing was unaffected, the company said.

The fire occurred after a cardboard baling machine used for recycling overheated, and was contained, Fremont Fire Department Division Chief Diane Hendry said Friday.

The fire happened in a tent used for recycling on the south side of the company’s campus, a company spokeswoman said Friday.

“Last night, the structure outside our factory that houses the cardboard and other wood and paper products that are being recycled caught fire,” the spokeswoman said, adding that no injuries were reported, and the company was investigating the cause.

In a tweet this week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk touted a new tent on the campus being used for production of the Model 3.

The Tesla spokeswoman said the production tent was unaffected by the fire.

The Thursday fire is the latest in a series of blazes at the Fremont plant. The company suffered another fire this month, according to an email sent to workers by Musk.

Tesla has been burning through cash as it tries to hit a target of producing 5,000 Model 3 electric sedans per week after production delays. Tesla’s long-term profitability hinges on ramping up Model 3 output, which is intended for mass production.

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