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First Student School Buses Parking Lot Was Well Guarded Today After Sunday Morning Fire, as Investigation of Cause Continues

Report by Paula Antolini, January 13, 2020, 6:36PM EDT

A check of the school buses parking lot on Henry Street in Bethel, CT, today, where the school bus fires occurred Sunday, found it well guarded with an official in an unmarked car blocking the entrance until the school buses began entering this afternoon.

First Student bus company officials in the office building nextdoor were not talking to media and simply handed a prepared post-it note with a phone number on it reading “for media.” This lead to a recorded message when we called the number, which simply said you could leave a message. We did, and so far we have not received a response.

The recorded message said in part, “Thank you for calling the media relations line for First Group America and its First Student, First Transit, and First Vehicle Transit division. So that we can best assist you listen carefully to the following instructions. If you are a member of the media please leave a message detailing the division you are inquiring about, the nature of your inquiry, your deadline, and a number where you can be reached.”

The school bus fires occurred at approximately 2:30am on Sunday, January 12, 2020, and damaged several vehicles.

Only a peek of the burned vehicles could be seen from the road today, as shown in video below. It appears that a tarp was covering one or more vehicles and other buses and cars were parked in front, obscuring the view.

We have also contacted Bethel Fire Marshal Tom Galliford, and he stated, “The fire is currently under investigation by the Fire Marshal’s office with the assistance from the Police Department. We have no cause to the fire at this time and it remains an active investigation.”

The entrance to First Student school buses parking lot at approximately 3:30pm, January 13, 2020:

Photo: aftermath from yesterday’s fire ….

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