VAN BUREN TWP. (WWJ) – Children who attend Van Buren Schools will have the day off Thursday after a fire broke out at the district’s bus yard overnight.
School officials say the fire started around 3:34 a.m. at the yard’s maintenance garage on Davis Street, near Huron River Drive and Main Street just south of downtown Belleville.
“It came in as a motion alarm for the building and then when the police got here, they saw that it was actually a fire,” Belleville Fire Chief Brian Loranger told WWJ’s Mike Campbell. “It was probably from the fire inside, so the motion sensor went off before the fire sensor apparently.”
Firefighters from Van Buren Township, Belleville and Sumpter Township worked together to extinguish the fire, which sent huge plumes of smoke into the air.
“When we got here, the building was fully involved, PD told us that before we even got here. Upon arrival, there were flames through the roof, there were explosions going on inside so we took a defensive attack and put it out,” Loranger said. “The roof isn’t safe, it’s strictly an exterior attack.”
Dave Tye, a mechanic for Van Buren Schools, said no buses or employees were inside the garage when the fire broke out, although several maintenance vehicles were damaged.
“There’s rags, tools, air compressors, stuff like that. There’s a little bit of oil here and there for filling the buses up for oil changes and stuff,” Tye said. “But, I don’t know where the fire started so I can’t speak to that.”
No injuries were reported. Officials say it’s too early to determine the cause of the fire.
“We’ve called the fire marshal to come do an investigation,” Loranger said.
Because drivers cannot get their buses out of the yard, administrators made the decision to cancel classes at all schools in the district on Thursday. Schools is expected to resume as normal on Friday.
“The damage is substantial, but we will move forward with continuing to provide a quality educational experience for the over 5,000 students and families we serve,” Superintendent Michael Van Tassel said in a statement.
Stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBSDetroit.com for the latest.