Despite bus fire, Puyallup schools to start on time

By David Guest

Tacoma Daily Index editor

The fire that destroyed 25 new school buses at the Puyallup School District’s bus maintenance facility last week will not delay the opening day of school for the district’s 21,000 students.

A fire erupted during the afternoon of Aug. 24, sweeping through the maintenance yard full of buses parked tightly together. The blaze took Central Pierce Fire and Rescue firefighters several hours to extinguish, but caused no injuries. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Initial fears that the start of school on Sept. 6 might be delayed were alleviated when at least 16 school districts from around the state offered to loan buses to Puyallup to make up for the drastic reduction in transportation capabilities wrought by the fire. The district had a fleet of 180 buses, according to the state superintendent of public instruction. In addition to the total loss of the 25 buses, several others sustained significant damage.

According to the Puyallup School District, the new buses carried a price tag of $90,000 to $130,000 each. The district is working with Washington Schools Risk Management Pool to replace the buses.  The Puyallup School District is one of 70 Washington school districts that joined together to form the WSRMP, which self-funds liability and property risks.

For more information about changes to bus schedules and routes: