An early morning bus fire on Feb. 11 injured four firefighters at the SouthWest Transit maintenance facility in Eden Prairie, according to city officials.
At 12:38 a.m., the department received a water flow alarm at the transit facility at 14405 W. 62nd St., Fire Chief Scott Gerber told EPLN.
Fire crews entered the building and found a SouthWest Transit coach bus on fire. Firefighters were able to douse the fire on the inside and outside of the bus. The fire was contained to a single bus thanks to the building’s sprinkler system, Gerber said.
“The sprinkler system is an important part of the story,” Gerber said. “The system helped keep that fire in check to the bus of origin (for the fire) instead of letting it spread to the rest of the building.”
Gerber said there was some smoke and heat damage to other buses and parts of the building.
Four firefighters, including one from a nearby agency, were injured while fighting the blaze.
A Hopkins firefighter was transported to Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina for evaluation before being released. The Hopkins, Minnetonka, Chanhassen, and Excelsior fire departments assisted Eden Prairie at the scene.
Three Eden Prairie firefighters were evaluated on-scene by Hennepin County EMS for smoke inhalation and elevated carbon monoxide levels.
No Eden Prairie firefighters were taken to the hospital, and they returned home with no issues, city officials said.
CenterPoint Energy and Xcel Energy also responded to the scene.
An investigation into the cause of the fire has begun, Len Simich, SWT’s CEO told EPLN. The investigation will be conducted jointly by the Eden Prairie Fire Department and the League of Minnesota Cities, which provides SWT’s insurance.
Until the investigation is complete, SWT has taken similar style and vintage coach buses out of service as a precautionary measure, Simich said.
All scheduled SWT services are running on time today, he said. Meanwhile, cleanup has begun on other vehicles that were nearby, as well as areas of the building with smoke damage.
SWT provides over 1 million passenger trips annually, according to its most recent annual report.
Editor’s note: This story was updated at 2:40 p.m. Feb. 11 to include information from SWT.
Stuart Sudak contributed to this report.
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