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UD hydrogen bus catches fire, damages STAR Campus building

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One of the University of Delaware’s hydrogen buses caught fire Thursday night, damaging three other buses and the building they are stored in.

The fire broke out around 7:15 p.m. in a building located far back on the STAR Campus, according to Deputy Chief Jeff Sands, of Aetna Hose, Hook and Ladder Company. The building was once part of Chrysler’s paint shop and is now used by UD to store the hydrogen buses.

Firefighters arrived to find smoke pouring from the building.

“There was a pretty good fire in there. With access issues, it took a while to get in,” Sands said.

He explained that firefighters had to cut through a fence and force entry into the building because UD officials couldn’t immediately locate keys to the building.

Once inside, firefighters found one bus on fire. Three other buses and the building itself sustained smoke and heat damage, Sands said.

No one was inside when the fire began, and no one was injured.

The fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.

UD unveiled its first hydrogen fuel cell bus in 2007 and later added several more to its fleet of campus shuttle buses. The buses create electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen, and their only emission is water, rather than the greenhouse gases emitted by typical diesel buses.

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