NEWPORT, N.C. — Two yellow buses in a school parking lot here were set on fire in a suspected arson on Sunday night, authorities said.
According to the Newport Police Department, a passerby noticed smoke and flames coming from the engine compartment of a bus in the Newport Elementary School parking lot. The passerby called 911, and police and fire personnel arrived on scene shortly after 10 p.m.
Responders found a 2008 school bus with its front end fully engulfed in flames. A second bus, a 1997 model, had a smaller interior fire that was confined to the front end of the bus.
Authorities said that firefighters extinguished the fires on both buses, preventing any further damage to adjacent buses. The school itself was not damaged, and there were no injuries reported in the incident.
Carteret County Public Schools officials said that the first bus appeared to be totaled, and the second bus was heavily damaged.
Also, an attempt was made to set a third bus on fire, according to the school district. Police officials said in a news release that the third bus “was found to have been tampered with, but no damage was sustained.”
School district officials said that replacement buses were put into place, and transportation service was to stay on schedule on Monday.
The Newport Police Department is working with school district and fire officials in investigating the incident.
“There were some suspicious items found on the buses that lead officials to believe this was an act of arson,” police said in the news release. “Those items are not being disclosed at this time in the investigation.”
Investigators are reviewing evidence and trying to locate witnesses. No suspects have been identified yet.
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