|Sun Nov 2 2014 14:07:25|
Amazon Sellers React to News of Fire at FBA Warehouse
By: Ina Steiner
A fire broke out at an Amazon fulfillment center located in Murfreesboro, Tennessee in the wee hours of Saturday morning. The warehouse is known as "BNA3" to sellers who use Fulfillment By Amazon.
The Murfreesboro Fire & Rescue Department published details of the incident:
Around 1:00 Saturday morning MFRD crews were called to the Amazon Fulfillment Center on Joe B Jackson. A cardboard compactor had caught fire and smoke was present throughout the building. Employees were evacuated.
Prior to MFRD's arrival, maintenance crews at Amazon attempted to extinguish the fire with buckets of water and fire extinguishers. Crews still had to pull a line from the engine to extinguish the fire.
Firefighters used monitors to assess the atmospheric conditions in the building before giving employees the okay to enter the break room to get them out of the cold.
Crews stood by with charged lines while maintenance removed the charred pieces of cardboard from the compactor. MFRD crews cleared the scene around 3:30 and employees were allowed to return other areas of the facility.
FBA sellers expressed concern that their products stored at that location might be damaged, smell of smoke, or have soot on the outer packaging. Some sellers suggested opening a case for Visual Inspection to prevent any possibility that Amazon might send items smelling of smoke to customers.
One seller said when he prepared an FBA shipment on Saturday after the fire, Amazon directed him to send it to the Murfreesboro warehouse.
Many sellers displayed concern for the Amazon workers and said they were thankful it appeared no one had been hurt during the incident.
Some readers may remember an eBay seller with a warehouse in Memphis, Tennessee who had to face this reality back in 2008 in a double-whammy (first a tornado, then a fire six days later).
It's not clear that any products in Murfreesboro were damaged in any way - we've sent an inquiry to Amazon to learn more. But such incidences raise the question, what would you do if you had an incident in which most or all of your inventory was damaged, whether you store it in your own facility or a fulfillment vendor?
Update: Looks like good news. Amazon spokesperson responded to my questions with the following: "Our fulfillment center in Murfreesboro is fully operational and there is no impact to customer orders."
Update 11/3/14: Amazon spokesperson Erik Fairleigh confirmed today there was no impact or damage to inventory in the Fulfillment Center.