North Cowichan fire destroys 5 school buses

North Cowichan firefighters responded to a fire at the Mid Island Bus lot on Tzouhalem Rd. shortly after 4 a.m. Friday morning.

No one was injured in the blaze

Three yellow buses, similar to these, were destroyed in an early morning fire at a lot in North Cowichan. (Hala Ghonaim/CBC News)

North Cowichan firefighters responded to a fire at the Mid Island Bus lot on Tzouhalem Rd. shortly after 4 a.m., Friday morning.

Crews worked for two hours to suppress the blaze which, the fire department said had engulfed three yellow school buses.

In a statement, Mid Island Bus said "we were deeply saddened to receive news this morning about the fire. Five of our school buses were lost. They were damaged beyond repair."

The company also acknowledged the hard work of both the RCMP and the firefighters, as well as recognized the outpouring of support it's received from the community.

"The situation is heartbreaking, but we are incredibly grateful that no one was hurt, thankful for the community support and the generous offers of temporary replacement buses from other local schools," according to the statement.

Mid Island Bus is a private transportation company. It only provides pick-up and drop-off school bus services to Queen of Angels School and Duncan Christian School. It says none of its afternoon services will be interrupted.

Natasha Horsman, communications manager with the municipality of North Cowichan, represents the North Cowichan Fire Department and she says it will not be investigating the fire.

"The bus lot is on land leased from Cowichan tribes, so North Cowichan has an agreement with Cowichan tribes to respond to fires for suppression only, so we don't have a role in the investigation," said Horsman.

"That will be done by the RCMP."

No one was injured in the blaze.