Cape Canaveral, Florida - November 7, 2007 - At 10:45 AM, a fire began during demolition activities at SpaceX's Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40). The Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Fire Department arrived 9 minutes later and promptly extinguished the flames. There were no injuries to personnel or smoke inhalation, and no damage to surrounding property.
Demolition contractors using steel cutting torches were sectioning an aging structure in preparation for removal, when adjacent materials ignited. The work was monitored by a fire watch, and the fire department was summoned according to standard operating procedures.
"This kind of thing is not unheard of during large scale demolition. That's why we have procedures in place. Everyone acted professionally and by the book, and fortunately no one was hurt," said Norman Bobczynski, SpaceX's launch site director.
CEO Elon Musk was informed of the situation and stated that SpaceX will work closely with officials at Cape Canaveral to investigate the event and will make any changes deemed necessary. First opened in 1965, SLC-40 hosted numerous Titan launches over four decades. The most recent launch occurred in April of 2005.
On November 1, 2007 SpaceX conducted an official ground breaking ceremony in preparation for transforming the site into a state of the art facility for its Falcon 9 and future Falcon 9 Heavy missions to launch commercial satellites, supply missions to the International Space Station (ISS), and eventually lofting crew carrying missions to the ISS and other orbiting destinations.