Blue Route bus catches fire on Iroquois Trail

Updated Article: A Centro “Blue Route” bus caught fire on Monday morning on Iroquois Trail in front of Onondaga Hall. The bus, which had been running its usual route through campus, was carrying approximately 10 students when the engine compartment at the rear began smoking.

The students and driver evacuated, and emergency services responded. Matthew Prawel, an Oswego State senior, was on the bus when it caught fire. “You could smell the burning and the bus immediately filled with smoke. We were all off immediately,” Prawel said. “You could taste it and everyone was coughing.”

The cause of the fire was mechanical in nature, according to University Police Chief John Rossi, however, the fire is still undergoing investigation. “Everything was going as usual and then I heard this loud pop, and immediately I started smelling this terrible, burning-plastic type of smell,” said Kira Wilson, an Oswego State senior.

Centro’s vice president for communications and business planning, Steven Koegel, said that, while this is not something anyone would want to happen, he was happy that the emergency procedures worked as they should. “We’re just very fortunate this afternoon that everyone is safe,” Koegel said.

The bus’s fire suppression system, which is meant to notify the driver of a potential fire and contain it if possible, activated at 10:55 a.m., and emergency services responded to a call made at the same time.

The flames spread faster than the bus’s suppression system could handle, so the responding fire departments had to douse the flames with fire hoses. The bus was towed away after the flames were extinguished. The procedure for a bus catching fire involves the driver quickly evacuating all riders off the bus and double-checking the bus to ensure nobody remains onboard.

According to those on the bus at the time, after it was made clear that something was wrong, riders were evacuated very quickly. According to Wilson, it took only about 10 to 20 seconds for everyone to be off of the bus after it began filling with smoke from the engine compartment. “We’re always concerned about the safety of our passengers,” Koegel said

The original article is below.

A Centro ‘Blue Route’ bus caught fire on Iroquois Trail in front of Onondaga Hall this morning.

At 10:55 a.m., University Police and the fire departments for both the city of Oswego and the town of Oswego responded to the fire.

According to a campus-wide email sent by Wayne Westervelt, the chief communications officer for Oswego State, nobody was hurt in the fire that started in the engine compartment, toward the rear end of the bus.

Students who were on the bus at the time report that there were about 10 riders, who were evacuated by the driver.

University Police Chief John Rossi said that the source of the fire was mechanical in nature. The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation according to Steven Koegel, the vice president for communications and business planning for Centro.

Koegel said that services are scheduled to run as normal tomorrow.


Photo Provided by Anthony Harbour

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