HURON, S.D. - A charter bus hauling the Sturgis Scoopers Girls Basketball team is a total loss following a fire in the vehicle's engine bay. Huron First Assistant Fire Chief Howard Alter says fire crews were called to the Super 8 motel parking lot around 7:30 Saturday morning.
"One of our off-duty firefighters was going by and spotted it. When crews arrived, the fire was coming out of the engine compartment. We were able knock it down and we were able to get some of the luggage out."
Alter says the cause of the fire in the engine compartment is unknown.
"The driver of the bus came out and started the vehicle, went back in to take a shower, and when he came back out, the bus was burning."
Fire and black smoke could be seen as emergency vehicles rushed to the scene. The Huron South Fire Station is less than a mile where the bus caught fire. The coach bus is owned by Western Transportation Incorporated, based in Sturgis. A replacement bus was sent to pick-up the team, who was making a weekend trip to play the Mitchell Kernals and Huron Tigers.
The teams basketball gear was still on the bus at the time of fire, although most personal belongings were removed by passengers for the night.It's not known how much of the gear was saved. The Sturgis girls were offered Huron jersey's to wear for Saturday's game if they were needed.
Alter says no one was on the bus at the time of the fire, and there were no injuries reported.