‘It’s scary;’ What a parent says about three Duval County school bus fires in a week

Jacksonville, Fl — Friday morning marked the third school bus fire in Duval County

“It’s scary,” said Janice Huff, grandparent.

Wednesday, was the first reported Student Transportation of America school bus fire. It happened at the Lee Road bus depot in Regency.

Then on Thursday, another company bus was damaged following a fire on Roosevelt Blvd, near NAS Jacksonville. No students were on board at the time, and the bus driver was not seriously hurt.

On Friday morning, five school buses at the STA lot on New Berlin Road caught fire.

JFRD said it was a ‘suspicious fire’ and the state fire marshal was called to investigate.

On top of the fires, one of STA’s own drivers, Frank Connell was arrested and charged with one count of sexual battery.

The series of events this week has some parents concerned.

“I would always be afraid of having to put my child on a bus because once you put your child on a bus or take them to school, you just want them to be protected as if you were protecting them yourself,” said Huff.

Action News Jax asked STA multiple questions including where they are in these investigations, should bus drivers be concerned when reporting to work, and how can parents be assured their children are being transported safely, but received this statement from an STA spokesperson:

“We are thankful for the quick actions of first responders to extinguish the fire and will continue to work with authorities throughout their investigation.”

Duval County Public Schools told Action News Jax that there was no increase in bus delays Friday morning.

Avery Latta-Raines

Avery Latta-Raines, News 104.5 WOKV

Avery Latta-Raines is a Jacksonville native and started his career as an associate producer and editor at WTLV. When he isn’t long boarding, surfing, or running, he is telling stories that matter most to the people of Jacksonville!

Rich Jones

Rich Jones, News 104.5 WOKV

Rich Jones is the Host of Jacksonville’s Morning News. Rich joined WOKV in October 2006. Rich is involved in many community organizations and causes. Rich and his wife, Noelle, have three children: Avery, Harper and Austen.