ST. CHARLES – No one was injured Thursday in an incident in which the brakes on a St. Charles District 303 school bus overheated and started a small fire in the wheel well, officials said.
The bus was traveling on its route, heading east on Main Street, when someone smelled smoke, District 303 spokesman Jim Blaney said.
"The driver pulled over, called 911, got the kids off the bus," Blaney said. "The brakes were smoldering, and there was a small fire in the wheel well. They put out the fire, and we sent another bus to pick up the kids and take them home."
Blaney said the important thing to consider is that the students and the driver were not injured or hurt.
"The bus driver called 911 and made sure the kids were safe," Blaney said.
The bus was towed to the district's maintenance shed, where mechanics will figure out what happened to the brakes, Blaney said.
St. Charles Fire Department Battalion Chief Leo Veseling confirmed that the brakes overheated and started a small fire in the bus' wheel well. Firefighters arrived at 3:45 p.m., and they had the bus moved and intersection cleared by 4:05 p.m. Veseling said.
Rob Anderson, owner of Anderson's Coins and Collectibles, at 221 W. Main St., St. Charles, took photos. He said the bus stopped in the intersection of Routes 64 and 31. Anderson estimated about a dozen students were on the bus.
"The undercarriage started on fire and was smoldering," Anderson said. "They put that out with a fire extinguisher, then the fire department broke out the hoses. They got the students off and transferred them to another bus."