Child Left Alone on School Bus Before it Catches Fire

Sadiah Thompson
Posted on December 6, 2019

HOLLY SPRINGS, N.C. — A child was left alone on a school bus right before a fire broke out on the vehicle here on Tuesday morning, school district officials said.

A spokesperson from Wake County Public School System who was not identified by CBS17 told the news source that the bus driver had started the bus, pulled it to the bus loop in front of Holly Springs High School, and went inside the school to drop off a paper. However, when the driver came back outside, smoke could be seen coming from the vehicle, and that the driver and school staff had to evacuate the child off of the bus. (The child was not a student at the school but was in the care of the bus driver. According to the spokesperson, the district's bus drivers are allowed to have non-students in their care on their buses.)

Lisa Luten, a district spokesperson, told that the bus involved in the fire was taken out of service last February to have its engine replaced, and then put back into service in November, according to a preliminary investigation. Officials added that the fire may have been caused by a “worn spot on a wire” that was located near the bus’s newly replaced engine. Currently, all of Wake County Public School System's buses undergo monthly inspections, Luten told the news source. She also said that the district's bus drivers are not supposed to leave running buses unattended.

On Thursday, Luten said in a written statement, obtained by, that out of the district’s 870 buses, 48 are of the same make and model similar to the bus that caught fire. Of those buses, Luten said 20 were inspected on Tuesday following the fire, installing protective coverings on the wires leading to each of the buses' alternators, and that the remaining buses would be inspected and updated on Saturday. Luten also said, according to, that the district is working with a different third-party vendor to conduct an additional review regarding the cause of the fire.

As School Bus Fleet previously reported, another Wake County Public School System bus caught fire in October while a bus driver and an elementary student were on board. School district records reportedly showed that the bus had undergone a maintenance inspection earlier that day.

Related Topics: bus fires, North Carolina, preventive maintenance

Sadiah Thompson Assistant Editor
Comments ( 2 )
  • Stan

     | about 4 months ago

    Continue wondering WILLIE, electric buses don't work the same as an internal combustion engine. …. Self Driving buses..... I doubt it will happen in your lifetime, sooooo stop wondering about those.

  • See all comments
More Stories
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued a waiver from some regulations applicable to commercial driver’s license holders to June 30 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo courtesy Des Moines (Iowa) Public Schools

FMCSA Issues Waiver for Some CDL Deadlines

 The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s waiver postpones deadlines for some regulations applicable to CDL holders to June 30 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


LED Warning Light

The Model 272 CHMSL from J.W. Speaker Corp. is a combined warning light and center high-mount stop light with a built-in backup camera.

From school closures to disinfecting school buses and buildings, districts are working to protect their students and staff against COVID-19. Photo courtesy Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

School Districts Take Precautions Against Coronavirus

From school closures to disinfecting school buses and buildings, districts are working to protect their students and staff against COVID-19. State departments of education have also shared guidance on prevention and response.


VIDEO: Virginia Conference Highlights School Bus Crash Response

The Virginia Association for Pupil Transportation showcased a mock school bus accident during its 42nd Annual Conference and Trade Show held June 16 to 20, in Richmond, Va. The training exercise was designed to help prepare attendees for the real-time response to a school bus crash. Video courtesy Richmond Ambulance Authority

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from SBF delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the school bus industry and don't miss a thing!

We respect your data and privacy.
By clicking the submit button below, you are agreeing with Bobit Business Media’s Privacy Policy and this outlined level of consent.