NC school bus gutted by fire; 2nd blaze in less than a month for district

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) — A CMS school bus caught fire Tuesday afternoon in southwest Charlotte.

CLICK TO VIEW 7 PHOTOS OF THREE DIFFERENT BUS FIRES IN THE DISTRICT

According to CMS, there were not any students on board bus 188 at the time.

A witness told WBTV that the driver was still on the bus and was not injured during the fire but shaken.

FACEBOOK USERS: Click to view 7 photos from three different bus fires

The bus caught fire near Nations Ford Road and Downs Road, according to CMS.

The driver reported she smelled smoke and stopped the bus immediately. She exited before the bus ignited, according to reports.

Witnesses say nearby workers saw the fire and rushed to help. They used about four fire extinguishers to help put out the fire. Firefighters arrived to put the fire completely out. Firefighters met with the media to give an update on what happened and where the fire possibly started.

“A fire that seems to have originated in the engine compartment and spread into the driver’s area and passenger compartment,” Charlotte Fire Dept. Senior Fire Inspector David Williams said.

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There are similarities to what happened on Tuesday and what happened last month. Sources tell WBTV Bus 188 had the same type engine as Bus 364.

A statement was released Nov. 2 about bus 364 saying that school buses with similar engine types were to be inspected.

A top priority of the district is to ensure the safety of students and staff on board any CMS bus. As a proactive measure, CMS is inspecting 250 school buses, activity buses and spare buses with similar engine types. These inspections are closely examining the wiring area of those buses, to determine if there is any indication of a failure. The inspection of these buses is ongoing and so far, CMS transportation staff have not found any areas of concern.
Sources say the bus involved in the latest incident should have been checked before hitting the road.

CMS is scheduled to have a press conference addressing these bus fires Wednesday morning.

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