A fire that erupted Tuesday inside Kokomo Central Garage has left the city without six of its buses and temporarily put the city’s Spirit of Kokomo senior and disabled busing routes on hold.
Not long after the fire started at about 5 p.m,. the garage, located at 919 Millbrook Lane, had nearly burned to the ground, leaving only portions of one wall of the pole barn structure standing.
Kokomo Fire Department officials haven’t yet determined what caused the fire.
Kokomo Transportation Director Tammy Corn said the loss of a large portion of the city’s Spirit of Kokomo fleet will result in limited service today. The city may be able to use four of the buses transportation employees were able to pull from the garage before it was engulfed in flames.
As a result, those who depend on the paratransit service should not depend on the Spirit of Kokomo lines today.
Buses for the city line trolley system, which provides the majority of transportation to Kokomo residents, were not affected by the fire and will run as normal today, beginning at 6:30 a.m.
“We had about 497 trips scheduled for (today), so we’re going to suspend service,” Corn said. “We’ll get the people that we can. We do have some (vehicles) in another location and these buses (that were pulled out of the garage) if they’re usable.”
Kokomo Deputy Fire Chief Nick Glover said there were no injuries or deaths.
“Some of the buses were pulled out,” he said. “We’re not able to get an accurate count on what pieces of equipment (were inside).”
Corn said some of the explosion-like sounds that many in the area heard could have been the fire reacting to chemicals held in the garage’s wash bay. She said there is no natural gas hooked up to the building.
Corn said the eight buses lost in the fire consist of about half of the city’s Spirit of Kokomo fleet.
“It’s tragic,” she said. “We had 497 trips scheduled for (today), and that’s a lot of people that count on our services. Thankfully there was no one hurt. I just can’t believe it.”