Ocado’s warehouse in London has caught fire and been evacuated, marking the second fire at one of its facilities this year.
The fire broke out in a waste packaging container outside its warehouse in Erith, leading to some online food orders to be disrupted.
“The London Fire Brigade was in attendance and the fire has now been extinguished. No part of the material handling equipment was involved,” an Ocado spokesperson said.
Ocado small fire was at the new Erith warehouse. Blaze earlier this year was at its Andover. Not caused by fault within warehouse but fire in waste skip outside. Very unfortunate and surely more pressure around safeguarding. Took fire brigade three hours last night to extinguish
— Ashley Armstrong (@AArmstrong_says) August 22, 2019
they are quite "accident prone"
— Mrs D 💫 (@The_MrsD) August 22, 2019
“We sincerely apologise to those customers affected for the inconvenience this causes. All customers will be offered a re-booking for tomorrow”.
The cause of the fire is not yet known, but Ocado said that its “fire suppression measures in place performed as intended and the fire did not spread”.
In February, Ocado’s flagship automated fulfilment centre in Andover was all but destroyed by a fire, later discovered to have been started by an electrical fault in one of the centres’ 1000 plus robots.
Ocado revealed that the fire had cost it a total of £110.3 million, offset slightly by an £11.8 million insurance pay-out.
Adjustments were made to the equipment following the incident, and the fire has seemingly not dissuaded retail partners from working with Ocado.
In June Ocado broke ground on the first of 20 high-tech automated warehouses it plans to build in the US as part of its tie-up with Kroger.
The pair have begun work on the 335,000sq ft Ohio facility, in what the US grocery giant is calling a “meaningful milestone”.
Due to be fully operational by 2021, the $55 million (£43.38 million) facility will employ Ocado’s signature automated robotic systems while creating 400 jobs in the area.