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Fire engulfs empty bus at William Floyd Middle School, officials say 

An empty school bus at William Floyd Middle

An empty school bus at William Floyd Middle School in Moriches is engulfed in flames Wednesday afternoon, minutes before students were to board for the ride home. Credit: Stringer News Service

Flames consumed a bus in front of William Floyd Middle School Wednesday afternoon, just minutes before students were to board the vehicle and go home, officials said.

The 2:10 p.m. fire broke out along the path to the bus circle in front of the Moriches school, said James Montalto, a spokesperson for the district.

Suffolk police said Seventh Precinct officers responded to the scene and there were no injuries. The fire's cause is under investigation, officials said.

Montalto said the driver, an employee of the First Student bus company, smelled something burning as he waited at the end of a chain of buses lined up to take students home. He got out of the bus and it burst into flames.

That was between five and eight minutes before the students were scheduled to board, he said.

The school district posted a statement about the fire on its website Wednesday afternoon.

“Just prior to dismissal, a First Student bus caught fire near the entrance at William Floyd Middle School,” the statement said. “No students were on board at the time and all students are safe. The fire department was called immediately to extinguish the fire."

Students were kept indoors until fire and police declared it safe for them to leave the campus and delays were expected transporting students home, the statement said.

First Student could not be reached for comment.

Suffolk County correction officers happened to be at the scene because they were teaching a gang resistance program inside the school at the time, said Sgt. Paul Spinella, in a news release.

Officers Christopher Delaney and Brian Arce were first responders who “secured the scene and directed traffic as more busses and parents arrived to pick up students at the end of the day.”

Center Moriches firefighters put out the blaze but no one from the department was available for comment.

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