Fire that claimed original Tesla Roadsters ‘under investigation,’ Gruber Motors gives statement

A fire that claimed over thirty original 2008 Tesla Roadsters is now under investigation, according to new reports. The fire took place near Phoenix, Arizona, on October 16th at Gruber Motor Company, a haven that specializes in electric vehicle repairs and modifications. Peter Gruber, CEO of the shop, also gave a statement, indicating that he has reached out personally to the owner of each Roadster lost in the blaze.

Teslarati received tips from 998 Media, an automotive photography site. According to the source, Phoenix Fire Department Ladder 50 and Ladder 41 arrived on the scene shortly before 3 AM Saturday morning. Gruber Motor Company’s main Service Center was the site of the fire. After responding, crews realized the site of Gruber Motors likely housed many electric vehicles, as the shop has a reputation for specializing in engineering services for Tesla vehicles specifically. This triggered a balance of 2nd alarm defensive fires with Hazardous Materials due to the unknown number of lithium-ion batteries inside.

Crews worked to extinguish the fire from outside with multiple lines from multiple angles. The crews did knock down the main body of the fire rather quickly but did remain on-site through the morning to extinguish the hotspots that arose from the main body of fire. Crews indicate that there is no cause of fire determined at this time and it is under investigation. No injuries were reported.

Additionally, Peter Gruber gave an emotional statement to Roadster owners:

“Each of the owners affected by our fire last night have been contacted. I personally reached out to each of you affected by a lost Roadster, rather than have you find out through the media. Talking to each of you, I am again reminded how cherished these cars are, how much they meant to you, and what a special place they carve out in automotive history. You all have my sincerest apologies and I feel your pain, having lost three in this mishap as well. I wish it was otherwise. We have three commercial buildings involved with Tesla vehicles, and the fire occurred in our main work in process Service Center. Early analysis by the first fire inspectors isolated the cause to an electrical panel failure, which of course will be investigated more thoroughly. Many other Roadsters survived, and each of you have been contacted as well. As with a previous fire we had in May of 2017, this fire again consumed the entire building and all its contents, which illustrate the potent nature of Lithium-Ion vehicles once they ignite. Our GMC expansion building, which has been under construction, is fully sprinkled. In the meantime, we are again relocating operations into one of our other buildings. Along with the entire Tesla community, we grieve the loss of over 30 Teslas that perished in our shop, which is dedicated to normally preserving and credited with saving hundreds of these rare and dying breed of first-generation EV’s.”

This is the second fire at Gruber Motor Company, the first being in May 2017 following an experimental repair that went wrong. This triggered a three-alarm fire which required gutting of the warehouse.

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