The fire appeared to have been caused by a mechanical issue in the Middletown ( N.J.) Public Schools bus. No one was on board when it caught fire. Photo courtesy Middletown Township Fire Department

The fire appeared to have been caused by a mechanical issue in the Middletown ( N.J.) Public Schools bus. No one was on board when it caught fire. Photo courtesy Middletown Township Fire Department

MIDDLETOWN, N.J. — A fire broke out on a school bus outside of a high school here on Thursday morning.

Officials from Middletown Township Fire Department reportedly responded to the fire at Middletown High School at around 7:15 a.m., according to a tweet from the Township of Middletown.

William O. George III, the superintendent for Middletown Public Schools, said in a statement that the school bus caught fire after it had arrived at the high school, and students were evacuated from the bus before the smoke progressed to a fire. George added in the statement that students inside the school were evacuated to the rear of the building for a short period of time while the fire was extinguished. No one was hurt.

Dennis Fowler, a spokesman for Middletown Township Fire Department, told Ashbury Park Press that firefighters had the fire under control by 7:40 a.m. and had cleared the scene by 9:40 a.m. George said in the statement that the school building's air quality was tested by a registered environmental health specialist and deemed safe for occupancy after the fire, and that the fire appears to have been caused by a mechanical issue in the bus.

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