OXFORD – Educators are awaiting the results of a final report on the early September fire that destroyed a school bus in the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School parking lot.

A preliminary investigation suggests the fire started in or around the fuel water separator, according to SAD 17 Superintendent Mark Eastman. Officials involved in the manufacture of the bush said they do not expect the component will be or is a recurrent problem.

Investigators from several agencies were in town two weeks ago to investigate the fire’s cause. The fire destroyed a 2007 Thomas/Freightliner as 10 to 15 students were about to get on it. Another 200 students and six other buses were in the bus loop at the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School at the time of the fire. No one was injured.

The $60,000 bus had a Thomas Built Buses body, a Freightliner chassis and a Mercedes engine. It was purchased from W.C. Cressey & Son dealership in Kennebunk.

A similar SAD 17 bus was taken off the road immediately and will not be used until it is certified safe in writing.

Officials from Thomas Built Buses requested that the bus taken off the road and others in SAD 17 be inspected by Cressey as a precaution.

Meanwhile, school board members have agreed to lease two more school buses.


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