Fire doesn’t stop FRTA service

GREENFIELD — Public transportation will continue to roll along as usual, despite the loss of a bus in a Tuesday night fire.

“We keep going no matter what happens,” said Franklin Regional Transit Authority employee Terry Dean. “We have to serve the public.”

Firefighters responded to the FRTA’s Deerfield Street garage at about 5:45 p.m., where a bus had caught fire inside one of the building’s bays.

Dean said the FRTA has 22 buses, including several spares, that service 13 daily bus routes.

The bus that caught fire had been in service until about 11 a.m., and spent the afternoon in the garage’s wash bay until it was moved to a storage bay a half hour before the fire was spotted, said Deputy Fire Chief Edward Jarvis.

Jarvis said the bus was not being worked on, and did not have a battery charger or other electrical equipment in use. Though the exact cause remains unclear, Jarvis said the fire originated in the bus’ engine compartment.

The fire was quickly put out, and did not spread to the building or other equipment. A bus parked next to it sustained cosmetic damages from heat.

The bus lost was valued at about $300,000, and damages to the building were estimated at $35,000. Insurance should cover the bus and damages, according to FRTA staff.

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