Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Just a regular day on the job...

"Um... there's something wrong with 740... There's smoke coming out the back." That's how it all started. I had just finished my shift and was inside the bus barn chatting with Cody, the night phone guy, when the bus cleaning crew came in and casually mentioned that we might want to go outside and have a look. I walked out and sure enough, there were clouds of black smoke billowing out of the engine compartment of one of our older buses and flaming globs of engine stuff dripping out onto the ground. I yelled and Cody came out, took one look and tore off to find a fire extinguisher. He would have been entirely successful but he chose the mechanics shop as his destination... where they store the dud extinguishers that need servicing. The first several he tried didn't work, so I grabbed one from another bus and pulled the pin for him. Meanwhile I had called 911 and started moving the rest of the buses out of the area, so that if the humongous diesel tank exploded we didn't lose our entire fleet. The fire trucks arrived in good time and extinguished the now very respectably blazing bus with copious amounts of foamy stuff. I took a few photos with my phone, but by the time I was unoccupied enough to think of it, most of the really impressive pyrotechnics were buried under a mound of foam. So these are awful, grainy, blurry photos, but the best I could do under the circumstances.

Cody in the red shirt with the non-dud in his hand :)

The aftermath:

We've had bus fires before, most notably the sister of this bus, 739 about 10 years ago. 739 was caught early I guess, because it's still part of the fleet, but there will be no salvaging this one. You can't see it from the photos, but the rear windows all bowed out with the heat and the top roof hatch melted. The smoke was absolutely foul smelling. I got a couple of really hearty lungfuls during the process, but apparently I'll live :) Exciting times at bus barn. Unfortunately it means I'll have to drive the trolley tomorrow morning, as we are now short one bus x-[


  1. Talk about a hot time in the old town! :~) Was that your bus or someone else's?

  2. Someone else's. And it was about to be retired anyway since we are about to get 3 new buses, so it's less tragic than it would otherwise have been. It's still on the lot and still exuding a powerful stank.

  3. im smell an insurance scam lol