PIÑON, Ariz. — On Thursday morning, nine school buses were burnt in a fire in the Piñon Unified School District’s transportation yard, causing the cancellation of summer school classes on Thursday and Friday,  Navajo Times reports.

Seven of the buses were destroyed in the fire and two may no longer be usable, district Superintendent Doug Vaughan told the newspaper. The burnt vehicles make up nearly one-third of the district’s fleet. Vaughan estimated the loss at $1.4 million. Piñon School District is negotiating with a vendor to replace the buses at about $150,000 each, and the first replacement bus is set to arrive next week, Navajo Times reports.

The fire is being investigated by the Navajo Nation Fire Department and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, with assistance from the Navajo County Sheriff’s Department, according to the newspaper.

Quick-thinking school employees prevented further losses by driving the unburned buses out of harm’s way, Vaughan told Navajo Times, and called them heroes for risking their safety. The fire was also prevented from spreading to the gasoline tanks located under the parking lot by a cement cap that covered the tanks for safety reasons, Vaughan added. The district added the cap last year.

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