ALMONT — School officials reported that at around 7:30 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 7, an engine fire started in a lift bus used to transport older students to special needs programming at the Lapeer County Ed-Tech Center in Attica.
Almont Schools Supt. Dr. William Kalmar reported that the bus driver experienced a power failure and fire near the intersection of Tubspring and Kidder roads, shortly after leaving the school campus.
"Thanks to the quick response of our driver, there were no injuries and the students were evacuated and provided alternative transportation to their classes," said Kalmar.
Kalmar added that such incidents are a reminder of the quality of school personnel and emergency professionals called upon to respond to such emergencies.
"The response and support from Michigan State Police, Almont Fire Department and Almont Police Department was outstanding," said Kalmar, "as were the actions of our own transportation department.
"I especially want to recognize Mr. Bob Smith, a long-serving Almont bus driver who put the safety and security of his students first," Kalmar said. "As I am certain he does every time he gets behind the wheel to ensure that no one was injured in a very situation."
Kalmar noted that following the incident, all of the district's buses were inspected prior to being allowed back on the roads.
"The loss of this bus will not compromise any of our student transportation services," he added.
Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.