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No one was injured when a school bus caught fire Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013, outside Cloquet Middle School. (Photo by Barbie Into/Pine Journal)

Bus catches fire in front of Cloquet school

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CLOQUET — Quick thinking and fast reactions averted injury Tuesday afternoon when a school bus caught on fire at Cloquet Middle School.

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According to Middle School Principal Tom Brenner, the bus had pulled up to the curb on a side street shortly before 3 p.m. to take a load of middle school basketball players to a game in Barnum.

Brenner said a number of the players had already boarded the bus when the driver noticed smoke. She immediately evacuated all the students and called her dispatcher, who in turn called 911.

A Cloquet police officer was the first responder. By then, Brenner said, flames had begun shooting out from under the hood of the bus, and the officer grabbed the fire extinguisher and put them out.

The fire had reignited by the time the Cloquet Area Fire District responded a minute or so later, and firefighters quickly extinguished the flames again.

Brenner said the entire episode was over in 10 to 15 minutes.

“This sort of thing is the reason we have bus evacuation drills,” Brenner said. “Fortunately, we had one just last week.”

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

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