LAKE VILLA, Ill. — A fire here that is believed to have been caused by an electrical short circuit destroyed three school buses and damaged three others last week, the Chicago Tribune reports.
A Durham School Services employee reported the fire just before 5 a.m., and emergency crews found two buses completely consumed by flames, according to the newspaper. The buses served Lake Villa Community Consolidated District 41. Lake Villa Fire Chief Frank Slazes told the Chicago Tribune that one bus caught the other two on fire because they were parked close together, and that the damaged buses are not beyond repair. No one was injured and there was no disruption in service, but other buses were damaged by the heat.
Slazes also said that he believes one of the heaters under the hood of a bus had an electrical short circuit that sparked the fire, and that many of the buses are diesel powered and have block heaters that are plugged in to keep the oil in the engine warm overnight so it is easier to start in the morning.
The principal of a neighboring high school, which had addressed a violent threat from a student early last week, sent an email and text to parents of students the morning of the fire to assure them that the fire was not related to the threat.
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