Fire damages 22 special needs school buses in Southwest Fresno

January 6, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
An investigation is underway after a large fire tore through more than 20 school buses at a facility in Southwest Fresno. Firefighters estimate the total damage at more than a million dollars.

Firefighters say it took about 40 minutes to put out the fire. The fire damaged 22 buses. 15 were a total loss, and some burned right down to the metal frames. "The fire was spreading very quickly, large amount of fuel loads with those buses," said firefighter, Keola Park.

Park said, "There was a large column of smoke and fire showing; a lot of heat being produced by the multiple buses being on fire."

Action News was not allowed on the property but hours after the fire, you could still see some of the charred remains. The yard is owned by First Student, a private company that provides transportation for students in the Fresno Unified School District. Maureen Richmond, a spokesperson for the company said these buses were used to transport children with special needs, "It is very different and challenging for the staff but nothing that is insurmountable."

The Fresno Unified School District does not expect service to be interrupted when school starts back on January 14.

No one was hurt in the fire. The cause is still under investigation.