JSO says 5 buses costing $400,000 in damages were set on fire at Northside STA bus lot

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – An incident report obtained by News4JAX reveals the extent of damage in Friday’s “suspicious” fire at the Student Transportation of America bus depot on New Berlin Road.

An arson investigation is underway after five buses were destroyed, totaling at least $400,000 in damages, the report stated.

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the gate at the bus depot was left open and a suspect was caught on surveillance video walking down “a small path on the side of the building” and behind the back of the buses around 1 a.m.

Police said the video showed the suspect on the lot for about five minutes. Then, the suspect was seen running away from the fire and getting into a red vehicle.

Several burned buses could be seen in the bays when Sky4 flew over the Regency depot, and the roof appeared to have buckled from the heat of the fire.

The fire at the Student Transportation of America bus depot on New Berlin Road came days after a fire broke out at another STA school bus depot in Regency, leaving several buses charred and two people injured.

Jacksonville Fire and Rescue said three school buses were burned at the New Berlin lot Friday and two others were damaged. The fire is considered suspicious and the state fire marshal was called to investigate.

The Florida Highway Patrol noted that the fire marshal arrived just before 3:30 a.m. at the lot off New Berlin Road East, just north of Heckscher Drive.

About the Authors:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013. She reports for and anchors The Morning Show.