Retired MetroLINK buses catch fire in Rock Island

Published: Aug. 10, 2020 at 4:33 PM CDT
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ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) - Eight retired MetroLINK buses in Rock Island caught fire after a high-voltage power line snapped during severe storms Monday afternoon.

It happened at 25th Ave. and 7th St. at around 1:40 p.m.

According to the Fire Marshal with the Rock Island Fire Dept., when the power line snapped, it set one of the buses on fire. The buses are powered by natural gas tanks on the roof, which caused “small explosions” and made the fire spread to all eight buses as each tank released gas, the Fire Marshal said. He said it spread to each bus in a matter of minutes.

The Rock Island Fire Dept. focused efforts on safety of the neighboring homes and evacuated people to the Frances Willard Elementary School. One of the challenges was evacuations happened in the heart of the storm, according to the Fire Marshal.

“It definitely was one of the most challenging fires that you could run into with all those conditions happening at the exact same time,” Fire Marshal Greg Marty said.

No one from the public or Rock Island Fire Dept. was injured.

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