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District One school bus catches fire west of Gilbert

Leesville, SC (Paul Kirby) – A Lexington County School District One bus caught fire on Sugar Bottom Road Monday afternoon while running a special route. According to the district’s Chief Communications Officer, Mary Beth Hill, the bus had no students on board at the time of the fire. Hill said that the bus was permanently assigned to the Pelion attendance area.

Several county fire stations responded quickly and had the fire under control in minutes. They did have flames showing when they arrived, according to their radio reports.

Sugar Bottom Road is a rural dirt road that has limited access. The fire equipment and the burning bus caused the road to be closed to traffic for a short time.

Hill said she believed that the bus that was involved was one of the rear engine models that has had a problem with engine fires across the state over the past years. One burned near Irmo last fall and that bus was completely destroyed. It also threatened to spread to the school building before firefighters arrived to put the fire out.

She referred us to the SC Department of Education’s office which oversees all school bus operations for exactly how many fires they have had with this type of bus.

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