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Gas thieves allegedly spark bus fire at Fontana day-care center

March 17, 2012 |  9:44 am

Suspected gasoline thieves were believed to be responsible for a fire outside a San Bernardino County day-care facility that engulfed two school buses, fire officials said.

Investigators found a small pump and hoses near the scene in Fontana, according to a statement from the San Bernardino County Fire Department. The equipment was probably intended to extract fuel from the tank of a vehicle, authorities said.

The fire broke out early Friday around 3:40 a.m. Firefighters arrived on scene and found the two small buses burning and threatening to spread to a third bus and the day-care center. The blaze was contained to the buses but caused minor damage to some playground equipment, according to the news release.

Investigators said the culprit was probably pumping fuel from one of the buses when a spark from the pump or the vehicle caused gasoline fumes to ignite. No suspects have been identified.

The fire caused about $80,000 in damage, authorities said.


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