Lehigh Valley

Parkland School District bus fleet hit by devastating fire

Estimated $2 million in damage.

SOUTH WHITEHALL, Pa. - Investigators are looking into what caused a fire at a Parkland School District bus garage.

It started at the bus garage behind Orefield Middle school around 3:15 a.m. Friday.

District Superintendent Richard Sniscak says 30 buses were destroyed or damaged in the fire or about one-fifth of the district's fleet of buses.

Sixteen buses parked inside the garage were destroyed. At least 14 others parked outside nearby were damaged.

Sniscak estimates the fire caused about $2 million in damages.

He said replacement buses will be borrowed from neighboring districts or rented from bus companies.

"Fortunately,  we have good colleagues and good neighbors in the Parkland School District. Many surrounding districts have already reached out to me that have surplus busses," Sniscak said.

Sniscak said security camera footage is being reviewed by investigators, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, but there is no word yet on the cause of the fire.

The Parkland School District released a statement on Friday afternoon stating that they are optimistic school will be open on Monday but will send an updated message to all parents on Sunday afternoon by 3 p.m.

The District said because classes were canceled on Friday, they will make up the day on Thursday, March 29.

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