Fire destroys Attridge Transportation bus maintenance facility in Grand Valley

January 28, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

A fire that destroyed an Attridge Transportation school bus maintenance facility, causing around $1 million in damage, won’t cause a disruption for students who take the bus to school.

The Attridge building was destroyed in the Thursday, January 10, blaze after fuel vapours were ignited during routing maintenance. The facility is located on the Amaranth-East Luther Townline in Grand Valley.

Attridge provides bus services for the Upper Grand District School Board, including routes that service Orangeville District Secondary School and Westside Secondary School in Orangeville, Centre Dufferin District High School in Shelburne, and several elementary schools around the region. 

The Grand Valley Fire Department responded after receiving a call of a fire at the facility around 1:30 p.m. 

When they reached the location the building was fully engulfed in flames. Fire fighters from Orangeville and Shelburne were also called in to battle the blaze.

An employee working on the site was taken to hospital but did not sustain serious injuries. 

One vehicle was destroyed in the fire.

Some bus routes were cancelled on Thursday afternoon. While buses are parked outside and were spared damage from the fire, they could not be accessed during the emergency situation. 

Parents were notified of the situation and assured that their children were being supervised while still at local schools.

“The building is a total loss,” said James Attridge, manager of field support for Attridge Transportation.”The majority of the vehicles are parked outside, that one vehicle was in for repair. The building is a two-bay garage with our offices attached. It affected routes on the day of the fire simply because with the ongoing fire-fighting operations we couldn’t get vehicles out of the parking area. As for going forward, we had no issues on Friday operating all routes normally. It was just Thursday afternoon – around 20 buses were stuck in the yard. Friday everything went well and we don’t expect any interruption going forward.“

While the maintenance facility has been destroyed, the company has alternatives to keep the buses running. 

“We have other maintenance facilities,” Mr. Attridge explained. “We’re already in talks with some local garages about doing some maintenance with them or even renting a shop. We’re also arranging some office trailer setups. Right now we’re working out ‘of one of our employee’s houses there in Grand Valley but I think by the middle of next week we’ll have a full operation going.”

A posting on the company’s Facebook page stated: “This is extremely devastating news. Our thoughts are with our employees that experienced this unfortunate accident. We are so thankful that everyone is okay. We would like to thank all the emergency responders for all their hard work and ensuring the safety of our staff.”

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