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High school football team safe as bus goes up in flames

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busfire1PORTLAND (KPTV) — A bus carrying a Portland high school football team caught fire and caused part of Highway 26 westbound to be closed during rush hour Thursday.

Flames were seen shooting from the evacuated bus near the Jefferson exit just after 5 p.m. Thursday.

Central Catholic High School football coach Steve Pyne said the bus was carrying the junior varsity team to a game in Hillsboro.

Everyone on the bus made it off safely and coaches and administrators worked to make sure all families were being notified.

“We’re incredibly grateful that everyone was safe,” said principal John Garrow.

Garrow said the bus company reported everything was fine 10 minutes before the fire was first spotted. The cause remains under investigation.

“We haven’t gotten all the chain of events,” Garrow said.

Firefighters managed to pull some of the team’s gear off the bus, but it wasn’t immediately clear if it could be salvaged. Garrow said students potentially lost personal possessions, as well.

busfire2The game was canceled Thursday and the principal said they would evaluate whether it can be made up in the coming days.

“Our plan is to take an inventory once everything is returned to school later tonight so we know what we have, whether we can even play a game tomorrow,” he said.



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