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Monday, July 11, 2016

Bus Fire Update: Total Destruction


A previous article -- Bus Fire Extinguished But Smoke Remains  -- discussed a story circulating about a Clinton County Public Transit (CCPT) bus that had caught on fire.  Not all the details were clear about the incident.

One detail heard: the fire damaged the front part of the bus.  As you can see from the photos below much more than the front part was damaged.  (Images posted on Facebook by the South Plattsburgh Fire Department.  Click on each image to enlarge.)

In an email James Bosley, Clinton County Planning Technician, explained that he drove out to the scene on Wednesday evening but he had missed most of the incident.  Bus #22 was fully engulfed when he  turned onto South Peru Street.  Firefighters were putting out the blaze.

James continued: "The story you heard is pretty much the same as what I heard. The driver had dash lights and alarms going off, the bus lost power and he tried to pull off to the side of the road as the bus died. He heard a noise, discovered what he described as a ball of fire somewhere in the back of the engine, and it spread too quickly for him to have time to get the fire extinguisher and try to fight it. No passengers were on the bus at the time and the driver was able to move away from the dangerous situation safely."

As for the mileage bus #22 had racked up James said the latest figure recorded on June 30th was 278,870 miles.  He calculated that when the fire destroyed the bus the vehicle had seen about 280,000 total miles.

The Clinton County investigator, said James, indicated the fire originated in the engine compartment on the passenger side of the vehicle.

James: "The investigator from NYSDOT indicated the fire was electrical in origin rather than a fuel-based fire. There was too much damage to determine exactly what the cause was beyond that it was electrical."

He added Bus #22 had been recently serviced and no drivers had reported any problems before the fire.

James: "We are taking extra care to look over the wiring in all the buses to prevent this kind of a thing from happening again."


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