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Passenger bus catches fire while being towed on I-85

LANETT — A passenger bus caught on fire while being towed Tuesday night on Interstate 85 Southbound, according to Lanett Fire Chief Johnny Allen.

Allen said nobody was inside of the bus when it caught on fire and the driver of the tow truck was not injured. He said the tow truck did receive some fire damage.

The call came to the fire department at about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday. Allen said the bus was fully involved by the time firefighters got on scene and didn’t leave until about 3 a.m. The southbound portion of the interstate was also shut down during that time due to a diesel fuel spill.

Allen said the official cause of the fire is undetermined as of Wednesday afternoon, but the suspected cause is that there was friction caused by an unknown source while being towed.

Due to the fuel spill, Allen said he contacted the Alabama Department of Transportation, which responded from its Alexander City post to clean up the spill.

Allen said he isn’t sure how much fuel was spilled, but he is required to call ALDOT and the Alabama Emergency Management Agency. He said he also called the Chambers County EMA office as well.

Chambers County EMA Director Jessica Yeager said she was in contact with ALDOT officials Tuesday night but was told they had it under control. She said she was ready to respond to the scene if needed.

“They handled that so well, and they kept me informed,” she said.

Allen said there were no injuries to anyone during the incident.

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