Three buses were destroyed and another damaged after a bus fire at the Mid Island lot on Tzouhalem Road early Friday morning. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

UPDATED: Five school buses destroyed in suspicious early morning fire

Firefighters and RCMP arrived at the Mid Island Bus lot on Tzouhalem Road early Friday morning to find three buses engulfed in flames.

Two more were damaged beyond repair.

Firefighters from North Cowichan’s South End hall arrived just after 4 a.m. and extinguished the blaze.

Mounties requested a crew again for a flare-up around 7 a.m.

“The tires got going underneath,” explained South End Hall deputy chief Brad Coleman. He and a small crew returned to douse the hot spots while bus drivers arriving for work for the day looked on.

A spokesperson for Mid Island Bus said he company is “deeply saddened” to learn about the fire.

The company provides pick-up and drop-off school bus services for Queen of Angels School and Duncan Christian School.

“Five of our school buses were lost, they were damaged beyond repair,” the spokesperson said in an email. “We are definitely very thankful for the support of the community, the RCMP, and the firefighters who came to extinguish the fires.”

The show will go on, however.

“We are busy at this point working with our schools to ensure all the children continue to get back and forth to school safely,” said the email. “The situation is heartbreaking but we are incredibly grateful that no one was hurt, thankful for the community support and the generous offers of temporary replacement buses from other local schools.”

RCMP detachment commander Insp. Chris Bear said his officers are investigating, calling the blaze suspicious.

“This matter remains under active investigation in determining the cause of the fire,” Bear said. “Police are requesting anyone who may have seen or heard anything to contact the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment.”

Those with information can call 250-748-5522 or CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (6477).



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Nanaimo SAR, first responders execute rope rescue in Cassidy area

Person said to have fallen down an embankment in area of Riverbend Road

Candidates hit the campaign trail as Nanaimo-Ladysmith byelection called

Trudeau announces that voters will go to the polls May 6

North Cowichan appeals new permit for expansion at Chemainus composting facility

Province allows composting facility to expand processing

Editorial: Low water levels on Vancouver Island worrying

This is the time of year when our lakes are usually filled to capacity and beyond

Meet the Ladysmith ambassador candidates

Seven enrolled in this year’s leadership program

Mueller finds no Trump collusion, leaves obstruction open

But while Mueller fully ruled out criminal collusion, he was more circumspect on presidential obstruction of justice

Vancouver Island shores will not rock in 2019

Atomique Productions announce Rock the Shores festival will not return in 2019, future is uncertain

Woman wants Tofino to get a nude beach

“They may enjoy a surf and then walk around naked and just be free.”

New Coast Guard ship crashes into breakwater in Victoria

‘It is fairly unprecedented that it would happen’

Ice climbers scale Canada’s tallest waterfall on Vancouver Island

Ice climbers Chris Jensen, Will Gadd and Peter Hoang made history

Sparks fly as SUV speeds wrong way down Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

B.C. doctor fined $5,000 for accessing records of woman pregnant with his child

Doctor admits to accessing records of the woman carrying his child

Video service to compete with Netflix, Amazon expected from Apple on Monday

The iPhone has long been Apple’s marquee product and main money maker, but sales are starting to decline

Most Read