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      Morning fire destroys CMRTA bus

      COLUMBIA (WACH) â?? The Columbia-Richland Fire Department responded to a fire on a CMRTA bus Monday morning on Two Notch Road near Benedict College.

      According to Battalion Chief Steve Curry, the fire department was toned out at approximately 7:30 a.m., and when they arrived, they found the motor compartment of the bus to be â??fully engulfed.â??

      Curry said there were a couple passengers on board the Route 16 bus at the time of the fire, however, the driver was able to get everyone to safety.

      According to CMRTA Executive Director Bob Schneider, the insurance comapny has been notifed and will be conducting an investigation into the cause of the fire.

      Schneider said that today's fire was only the third in the last 20 years for the city bus system, but did point out that similar bus fires acorss the country are more common. "When you have a combination of heat, carbon, and the working part of the engine, fires can happen."

      Schneider said that all the CMRTA buses undergo routine maintenance to ensure the safety of the passengers. He added that the driver, who was not identified did "everything right" in getting the passengers to safety.

      DHEC was also on the scene, however did not make an immediate determination what, if any, impact there was on the environment.