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Middle school bus catches fire, parents not notified by school

Posted at 3:32 PM, Apr 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-28 15:32:21-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla., -- A Challenger Middle School bus carrying 22 students caught on fire, Friday morning. The incident has left parents questioning why they weren't notified it happened. 

"No I've never received any notifications, I saw it on the news.," explained one parent of the middle school. 

The Lee County School district said the fire was caused by an accidental mechanical failure. Lana, 12, who was on the bus when it happened, and said it all started when her substitute bus driver noticed the engine starting to burn smoke. 

“She was on the phone talking to someone, she was like hurry up it’s gonna blow up and she was like the fires — the flames are getting higher," said Lana. 

Carmen Chavez, the driver, was able to get all the kids off the bus safely according to the school district, before putting them on another bus to get to school. 

Chavez said this to the school district: 

“I was just doing my job. I was protecting the kids. I am responsible for them and they are like my own. I love my job."

But parents say instead of getting a notification from the school they either found out on the news, social media or through text messages from their kids. 

“You hear about accidents from kids about buses and you never find out until they get home," said Nicole Belletti. 

The school district tells Fox 4 they haven't been able to get a hold of the person who would have made the decision to notify parents.