A large Amazon warehouse in Coquitlam, British Columbia was destroyed in a fire over the weekend. After Amazon drones unsuccessfully doused the flames, firefighters were called to the scene late Saturday night to put out the blaze. The Coquitlam Fire Department battled the inferno for over ten hours before the fire was finally extinguished. The colossal warehouse was levelled. No injuries were reported, and staff were relieved to learn that they would not be docked wages for fleeing for their “$19-an-hour” lives before finishing their 18-hour shifts.
The Amazon distribution centre employed almost 1,000 people and serviced the Metro Vancouver area; a population of almost 2.5 million. The total economic losses are estimated in the tens of millions and the mayor of Coquitlam is seeking aid from the province of British Columbia.
Outcry and support from the public has been significant. The “Bucks 4 Bezos” GoFundMe page was set up for Amazon’s CEO and reptilian overlord Jeff Bezos’ multi-billion-dollar corporation. The page has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in less than a day. Good Samaritans in neighbouring cities and towns are opening their doors to strangers affected by the disaster. Bezos was spotted in Surrey.
Although the cause of the blaze has yet to be determined, many question if the activities at the rare earth mine in the Buntzen Bay, 20 minutes north of Coquitlam, has played any significant role. Graduate students in environmental science at the University of British Columbia have proposed research into the anthropogenic factors that may have contributed to the fire.