Waymo electric vehicle catches fire in south Phoenix warehouse
May 2, 2023, 12:55 PM | Updated: 1:08 pm
PHOENIX — An autonomous electric vehicle caught fire at a Waymo warehouse in south Phoenix on Tuesday morning, authorities said.
All employees had safely evacuated the building by the time firefighters responded to the scene near Buckeye Road and Third Street around 8:30 a.m., the Phoenix Fire Department said.
Capt. Todd Keller told KTAR News 92.3 FM the cause of the fire remains under investigation.
“I can tell you that the sprinkler system did a fabulous job preventing the fire from extending to the building, which allowed our firefighters to go in and assist with the extinguishment of the fire,” Keller said.
“Because these battery’s cells store a high amount of energy in such a small amount of space … once one of these cells goes, it’s extremely difficult to put out.”
After the fire was extinguished, the vehicle was put in a Phoenix Streets Department environmental dumpster to be taken for proper recycling.
Keller said the Waymo facility is used to service the company’s self-driving vehicles.
“They bring the electric vehicles to the Waymo warehouse and equip them. They download the software, they get all the cameras ready and get them ready for the road,” he said.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Nick Sadowski contributed to this report.