The cause of this morning’s roof fire at an Amazon Web Services data center construction site in Ashburn, Virginia, has been traced to a welding mishap, local fire officials said.
The contractor that is building the facility at 21263 Smith Switch Road has estimated the damage from the fire to range from $75,000 to $100,000, according to a statement issued by the Loudoun County Fire, Rescue and Emergency Management.
The workers on site were welding roof components from inside the structure, “which ignited nearby combustibles,” the official statement read. The combustibles were construction materials stored on the roof.
An AWS spokesperson confirmed this morning that the fire happened at the site where a third party contractor was building a data center for the cloud services company. The data center was not in production, so the fire did not affect any AWS users, she said. The contractor’s name was not disclosed.
As we have reported earlier, a developer called Corporate Office Properties Trust, has been building a data center for Amazon in the area.
About 100 emergency personnel responded to the scene. They brought the bulk of the fire, which did not spread beyond the roof, under control around 11:20 a.m.
Workers who were on the roof when the fire broke out were able to get out of danger’s way safely.
A smartphone video of the fire was uploaded to YouTube this morning: