The SpaceX building in Port Canaveral was damaged in a fire Sunday evening. Heavy smoke poured from the building at Magellan Road and Grouper Road, just north of the Coast Guard station, and about half a mile west of the entrance to the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The fire was reported at approximately 4:46 p.m. Cape Canaveral Fire Rescue, with help from neighboring agencies, worked the fire on the roof of the building. Cape Canaveral Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Chris Quinn said arriving firefighters found active fire in the roof decking when they arrived.
The large building, and difficulty reaching the fire made the job tough. Firefighters wearing lots of heavy protective gear and equipment had to climb 75-foot tall ladders in the hot Florida afternoon sun to reach the blaze. One firefighter experienced heat stress, and was taken to a hospital to be checked. There were no other injuries.
Chief Quinn said the SpaceX building did not appear to have hazardous materials in it.
The fire was extinguished, and then firefighters had to peel back the roof to ensure the fire was completely out. Chief Quinn said the cause of the fire was not known. Detectives from the State Fire Marshal’s Office were called to investigate.
Port Canaveral spokeswoman Diane Luensmann said the fire and firefighting operation did not impact the 24/7 activities at the port, although roads in the immediate area were blocked for an hour or so.
WESH 2 News space reporter Dan Billow noted that this building houses SpaceX rockets that have returned from space flight. The building was previously used during the space shuttle era to store and process items that would be loaded into the shuttle cargo bay.
A SpaceX spokesman gave WESH 2 News this statement: “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. The cause of the fire is under investigation.”