Investigators have called the burning of a Big Pine school bus “suspicious” in nature. Inyo Sheriff’s Detective Paul Beddel said that investigators could find no specific accelerant that would have started the fire. “It’s unknown if this were deliberate,” he said.
Inyo Sheriff Bill Lutze said that at 2am a CHP unit had passed by the school with no fire obvious. 15 minutes later, a truck driver called in that flames were shooting up near the school.
Big Pine Fire fighters responded and put out the fire. Today, an arson investigator from Cal Fire arrived on scene where Inyo Sheriff’s officers investigated the scene. Detective Beddel said that the bus had apparently been smoldering for awhile before the flames actually grew out of control.
The bus had been taken out of service before this school year, and was apparently going to be used as a trade-i8n on a new bus.
The bus was sitting near the elementary school and behind the area of the new library. Fire did totally destroy the bus with the top almost completely burned off.
Seats inside, charred black. Observers noted that it was fortunate nothing else at the school caught fire.