Rhode Island

Officials Are Suspicious After School Buses in Providence Set Ablaze

One firefighter suffered a minor injury

101218 school buses on fire

Authorities say a fire that torched several school buses in Providence is considered suspicious.

A spokesman for First Student, the company that owns the buses, says six to seven buses were destroyed in the fire reported at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday and others may have been damaged.

Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare said while the cause of the fire remains under investigation, it is considered suspicious.

Pare said one firefighter suffered a minor injury.

First Student has been embroiled in a labor dispute over retirement benefits with its drivers, who went on strike Sept. 27, leaving about 9,000 students without bus rides to school.

The drivers' union, Teamsters Local 251, said in a statement that it strongly condemns the fire.

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