Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Investigation under way in fire that destroyed paratransit bus in Brooksville

BROOKSVILLE — A paratransit bus en route to relieve another driver caught fire and burned to its frame Friday at the Hernando County Transportation Services office on Jefferson Street.

The small bus, a 2010 Turtle Top Terra Transport, was a total loss. There were no passengers on board, and the driver escaped unharmed.

The county immediately pulled in the other two buses, which were of the same year and model. All three were acquired under a state grant, said Dennis Dix, the county's transportation coordinator. The other vehicles were to be inspected before going back on the road.

There was no impact on the schedule of the paratransit system, Dix said. There are spare buses available when one or more are out of service.

"We don't know what the cause is yet, but we're looking into it,'' he said Monday.

The paratransit buses serve disabled residents who live within three-quarters of a mile of the fixed routes of THE Bus, the county's mass transit system, but who cannot make it to bus stops.

The bus fire caught the attention of employees at nearby Day Metal Products. The smoke drew office manager Suzanne Volce out of the front office.

"We went back there, and there was this big black plume of smoke, and then all of a sudden an explosion happened,'' Volce said.

Several more followed, but she said fire units got the blaze under control quickly, so the fire never crossed the fence onto the company's property.

The county's bus operator, McDonald Transit Associates, is insured to cover the loss, Dix said.

Shaun Kusnierczak, the county's transportation grants controller, said he wasn't sure what the explosion sounds might have been because the fuel tank did not ignite.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at or (352) 848-1434.

Investigation under way in fire that destroyed paratransit bus in Brooksville 08/26/13 [Last modified: Monday, August 26, 2013 9:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Pinellas aims to close reading gap between boys and girls


    Principal Kristy Cantu pored over Sutherland Elementary's test scores last year, looking for trends.

    Pinellas County teachers are being asked this year to pay closer attention to how their lessons might better engage boys. The district has come up with a "gender equity self-reflection" rubric for teachers to follow, with the goal of improving boys' performance in English language arts. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]
  2. Photo of the Day for August 21, 2017 - Trapped Under a Rainbow

    Human Interest

    'Trapped Under a Rainbow,' today's Photo of the Day, comes from Patti Presnell of Valrico, FL.

  3. Officials search for missing jet skier near Courtney Campbell Causeway


    The Fish & Wildlife Conservation, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and Tampa Police Department were searching for a missing jet skier Monday morning, according to broadcast reports.

  4. The Who's Roger Daltrey coming to Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater


    The Who may be nearing the end of their touring days. But Roger Daltrey is not.

    Roger Daltrey performing in Tampa in 2015.
  5. Jim Harbaugh's Michigan football team is still hiding its roster


    Jim Harbaugh slipped one more offseason antic in just at the buzzer.