School bus catches fire in south Charlotte, no injuries reported

The flames broke out on Old Ardrey Kell Road on Thursday.
A bus caught fire in the Ballantyne area on Thursday, firefighters confirmed.
Published: Jun. 1, 2023 at 6:28 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A school bus caught fire in south Charlotte on Thursday, officials confirmed.

According to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the flames broke out around 5:30 p.m. Firefighters said the incident happened on Old Ardrey Kell Road in the Ballantyne area.

CMS said the bus, numbered 32, was carrying students from Charles Parker Academic Center.

Officials said the driver was “proactive” and noticed smoke on the bus, and proceeded to pull over and safely evacuate the bus.

Students were picked up from the scene by their parents, but some were left shaken.

Aarvi Seth, a third-grader, was on the bus seconds before it went up in flames.

“It was scary because I’ve never been in a real life fire before,” she said. “I saw like flames shooting out of the engine pipes...that is very scary.”

Residents in the area were alerted to the situation by the sound of firetrucks whizzing through their neighborhood.

“We were looking out in the back and saw the firetruck,” Dennis Ackerman said. “Then we came back out and saw all the commotion.”

Both CMS and the fire department confirmed that no injuries were reported, something Aarvi’s mom, Swati, is thankful for.

“Big, big fire flames coming out of the bus. Oh my gosh, it was really a scary sight,” she said. “It’s hard to express in words, it’s very scary, but I’m glad everybody is safe.”

Firefighters said flames were within 10 feet of nearby homes.

CMS said the bus did not have any safety concerns during its most recent inspection.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Related: Officials: Multiple injuries reported in Union Co. crash between school bus, flatbed truck

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