Engine combustion triggered Toms River school bus fire: investigators
The Friday blaze in the Toms River Regional School Transportation Center is traced to an engine of one of the vehicles that caught fire, according to investigators from the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office, who ruled it accidental.
Smoke rising from the bus yard on Industrial Way North, near Route 37, was spotted at about 2:41 AM on May 26 by Toms River PD Patrolman John Minor.
Investigators determined that the fire began in the engine compartment of Bus 240, and spread to two more. The three are the only ones reported damaged.
According to OCPO Spokesman Al Della Fave, the damage in the area of origin is too extensive to determine the root cause, such as low engine oil, low engine water, or frayed wiring. Investigators offered no background regarding the date and time of the bus's most recent trip before the fire.
WOBM News has sent an inquiry to Schools Superintendent David Healy, in an attempt to learn whether a report of engine trouble was filed, and whether bus maintenance is conducted by district workers, or is outsourced, and if so, to whom.
Investigations were conducted by the Prosecutor's Arson Unit, the County Sheriff's Crime Scene Investigations Unit, Ocean County Fire Marshal's K-9 Unit, Toms River Police, and Toms River Bureau of Fire Safety.