School bus catches fire in Maspeth
by Heather Senison
Feb 09, 2012 | 4861 views | 0 0 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print

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Roughly 30 kids from I.S. 77 in Ridgewood ran to safety when their school bus caught fire at about 2:50 p.m. Thursday afternoon on the corner of 74th Street and 58th Avenue in Maspeth.

“We started smelling smoke,” said Ryan, an 11-year-old student, putting his arm around his friend Kevin, 12.

“And then we told the bus driver, 'what is that?'” Ryan said. “And then he sees the smoke coming out of the bus so he stopped at the corner and told everybody, 'get out of the bus.'”

Students ran up the block and turned around to see flames pouring out of their bus. Some said they were scared.

Calvin Covington, the bus driver, who picked the kids up from their school about 10 minutes later and hadn't dropped anyone off yet, said his No. 1 priority was getting them to safety.

“I basically was smelling smoke,” Covington said. “I pulled over, let the kids off safely, made sure everyone got off.”

The Fire Department responded to the scene, put the fire out and left.

Staff from the school were at the scene, concerned that at 3:30 p.m. police had not arrived.

“I don't know why they're not here,” Covington said. “That's crazy.”

As of press time, a representative from the nearby 104th Precinct could not be reached for comment about how the fire started.

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