COLDSPRING, Texas — An investigation has found that an electrical malfunction sparked the fire that burned five school buses here on Wednesday.
As previously reported, four school buses were completely destroyed and a fifth bus was heavily damaged in the blaze at the Coldspring-Oakhurst Consolidated Independent School District (CISD) transportation facility on Wednesday night. Firefighters were called shortly after 10 p.m.
School district administrators, sheriff’s officers, and the county fire marshal also responded to the scene. Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD said that the Texas State Fire Marshal’s Office would also come to the school bus facility on Thursday morning to investigate the cause of the fire.
Later on Thursday, Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD reported the findings of the investigation:
“The fire marshal determined that the fire was definitely an electrical fire/malfunction which started in the engine of one bus then spread to the others,” the district said on its website. “No foul play was involved.”
The Houston Chronicle reported that two of the school buses in the fire were 2004 models, and three were 2015 models. Director of Transportation Charles Cotton told the news source that one of the 2015 buses might be reparable.
Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD, which is located about 60 miles north of Houston, has a fleet of 25 school buses.
Students were on spring break during the week of the fire. The district said that classes would resume as planned on Monday (March 19), with normal school bus routes and times.
Superintendent Leland Moore told local media in a press conference on Thursday that the district would either lease buses or borrow some from neighboring districts that have offered to help. Cotton said that the buses in the fire were insured, but it could take a month or two to get permanent replacements.
Here’s a video of Coldspring-Oakhurst CSD’s press conference, posted by Janel Forte of KHOU: