Three buses were destroyed and another damaged after a bus fire at the Mid Island lot on Tzouhalem Road early Friday morning. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

UPDATED: Five school buses destroyed in suspicious early morning fire

Firefighters and RCMP arrived at the Mid Island Bus lot on Tzouhalem Road early Friday morning to find three buses engulfed in flames.

Two more were damaged beyond repair.

Firefighters from North Cowichan’s South End hall arrived just after 4 a.m. and extinguished the blaze.

Mounties requested a crew again for a flare-up around 7 a.m.

“The tires got going underneath,” explained South End Hall deputy chief Brad Coleman. He and a small crew returned to douse the hot spots while bus drivers arriving for work for the day looked on.

A spokesperson for Mid Island Bus said he company is “deeply saddened” to learn about the fire.

The company provides pick-up and drop-off school bus services for Queen of Angels School and Duncan Christian School.

“Five of our school buses were lost, they were damaged beyond repair,” the spokesperson said in an email. “We are definitely very thankful for the support of the community, the RCMP, and the firefighters who came to extinguish the fires.”

The show will go on, however.

“We are busy at this point working with our schools to ensure all the children continue to get back and forth to school safely,” said the email. “The situation is heartbreaking but we are incredibly grateful that no one was hurt, thankful for the community support and the generous offers of temporary replacement buses from other local schools.”

RCMP detachment commander Insp. Chris Bear said his officers are investigating, calling the blaze suspicious.

“This matter remains under active investigation in determining the cause of the fire,” Bear said. “Police are requesting anyone who may have seen or heard anything to contact the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment.”

Those with information can call 250-748-5522 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (6477).



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

$3.5M all-season turf field planned for Qualicum Beach

Town seeks grant for community playing surface upgrades

Qualicum Beach council big on support for multi-use cinema proposal

Society asks for 10,000 square feet, gets recommendation to consider with strategic plan

Lincoln stolen from Parksville dealership found near Duncan

Vehicle was located three days later with minor damage

Ballenas student experiment going into space

Science experiment designed by five SD69 students will travel to International Space Station

Fire engulfs trailer, vehicle and home in Bowser

The fire began around 6:45 p.m. at a property on Laurel Crescent

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

Body of Canadian miner found after African kidnapping

Kirk Woodman’s body was discovered 100 kilometres from the site where he worked for Progress Mineral Mining Company in Burkina Faso

Study finds more than half of food produced in Canada wasted

The study released Thursday is the world’s first to measure food waste using data from industry and other sources instead of estimates

Snowed-in Austrian nuns insist they’re staying put

Authorities have deployed heavy equipment to clear snow and fallen trees blocking the road to the monastery

‘Nanaimo is next’ for urgent primary care centre

B.C. Health Minister says new centre coming in next few months to reduce the strain on health system

Chiasson nets shootout winner as Oilers edge Canucks 3-2

Edmonton moves one point ahead of Vancouver

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Thieves steal thousands from 140 Coast Capital Savings members

Online fraud tactics included phising and ‘brute force’ in November and December

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

Most Read