West Virginia Firefighters Battle Bus Fire

On Tuesday, July 15, 2003 at 5:53pm firefighters from four Jefferson County, West Virginia fire companies and a hazardous materials response unit from Berkeley County, West Virginia battled a passenger bus fire at the Charles Town Races and Slots, located in Charles Town.

Firefighters from Citizens Fire Company, Friendship Fire Company,, Blue Ridge Fire Company and Independent Fire Company were dispatched at approximately 5:53pm for a bus fire located in the entrance of the Charles Town Races.

First arriving engines battled the flames while triage began on the 47 occupants who escaped the inferno through both the front door as well as diving from the emergency exit windows. Additional arriving units staged downhill on Washington Street and contained the diesel fuel running down the street from a ruptured fuel line along with the water runoff from the fire.

Hazmat 90 responded to the scene and began absorbing the fuel present in the containment pools. An Environmental Protection Agency representative was also called in to exam the runoff from the scene.

A total of three victims were transported by ambulance to Jefferson Memorial Hospital for their injuries. The fire is believed to have been caused by a seized brake, which caused the rear tire to slide along the roadway and catch fire.