School buses go up in flames at New Minas gas station

Three school buses have been destroyed after catching fire in a busy gas station parking lot in New Minas, N.S., Saturday morning.

The New Minas Volunteer Fire Department got the call about a bus on fire at the Irving Big Stop on Prospect Road just before 10 a.m.

It appears the fire started in an engine of one bus due to a malfunction with the electrical wiring, said fire chief James Redmond.

“Three buses were extensively fire-damaged,” he said. “They were totally engulfed when the fire department arrived and their destiny was already sealed.”

Redmond said another school bus sustained minor damages, but that no one was injured and no other vehicles were damaged.

The school buses were parked in a line of about 12 buses at the far side of the Irving parking lot, he said. 

Tina Vaughan, a supervisor at the Big Stop Irving Restaurant, made the call to 911 after another employee saw smoke.

“I ran down to the window and by then I could see flames shooting 10 feet in the air,” said Vaughan, adding the restaurant is about 50 feet away from the buses.

She said the restaurant, and parking lot, were packed at the time and curious patrons were taking photos from the window.

“I was scared. You think about it, one bus blows are they all going to continue on to blow? You know, you can’t help but think of that,” said Vaughan, who thinks it could have been much worse.

Firefighters were able to knock down the fire in a matter of minutes, said Redmond, and had cleared the scene within two hours. 

Redmond said the fire doesn’t appear to be suspicious.

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