San Angelo Fire Department Battles Bus Fire at PaulAnn Baptist Church
San Angelo Fire Department crews were called to PaulAnn Baptist Church, 2531 Smith Blvd., where one of the buses belonging to the church caught fire in a parking lot at the rear of the building.
Fire Crews were using foam to smother the blaze.
3:00 p.m.-- Statement from PaulAnn Baptist Pastor Kirt Dauphin:
We were downtown with our staff, hanging out at Iggy's [Italian Ice] and the driver had a problem with the brakes, so he drove it back here and parked it.
He was the only person on the bus.
It wasn't on fire when he parked it--it was fine--so it was delayed reaction. I guess the brakes must have got really hot, so 30 minutes or so after it was parked it caught on fire.
Dauphin surmised the hot brakes caught an inside tire on fire, and said he thought the bus was a total loss.
As of 3:15 p.m., Fire crews had extinguished the fire.
Statement from Fire Marshal Ross Coleman:
At approximately 3 p.m. we were notified about a vehicle fire, which turned out to be bus belonging to PaulAnn Baptist Church, right now we are waiting for the vehicle to cool down.
We went ahead and did a defensive attack and an offensive attack, because we did get inside [the bus]...and the fire was contained somehwere in the back-center of the vehicle.
Right now..it looks like it possibly has something to do with the brake system.
Once this fire has completely cooled down, we are going to get inside and try to get underneath the engine a little bit and see what we can find out.
Noboday was in the vehicle at the time, so there were no injuries.
Coleman said the one-alarm fire was called in by a passerby who saw the smoke while driving by on the loop.