Eyewitness says it was a miracle nobody was hurt in Blue Springs school bus fire

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BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. -- Police have one person in custody for their suspected role in Thursday's school bus fire. A resident's cell phone video showed five students and a driver disembarking from that Blue Springs School District School Bus as it burned after school; no one was hurt in the blaze.

Blue Springs Police Spokesperson Jennifer Dachenhausen told FOX 4 News one person is in custody, but she wouldn't elaborate. Police say they believe the fire was intentionally set.

"No words can even describe how it looked," Zachary Ryan, a Blue Springs High School sophomore, said.

Ryan, who lives near Cumberland Drive and Ridge Creek, the site of Thursday's bus fire, didn't take the No. 3 bus home as he usually does. He caught a ride with friends instead, and arrived at his home before the bus made its local stop.

"I looked out the window and there was this black cloud coming over the street. It scared me," Ryan told FOX 4 News.

That bus, driven on Thursday by substitute driver Matt Genasci, even lost its onboard camera in the fire, according to Blue Springs School District Spokesperson Katie Woolf. One student on the bus is from Blue Springs High School, and four others are students at Blue Springs Freshman Center.

"You just saw the whole bus in flames, and you saw the kids outside the bus and stuff. It was bad," Ryan said.

Investigators with Central Jackson County Fire Prevention are still looking into the cause of the fire. Ryan says he's seen misbehavior on his bus, and it could be related.

"Someone seemed to think it was someone smoking or left some illegal stuff back there. That's the only guess I have," Ryan said

Neighbors, such as Sara Begemann, who lives right across the street from the scene of the fire, says it's a miracle no one was injured. She helped parents gather in her driveway as they picked up their kids from the burned bus, and joined them in breathing a sigh of relief.

"It was kind of amazing because as fast as that bus was in flames, they were fast enough to get off the bus. The bus driver was fast enough to get the kids off the bus," Begemann said.

Genaci, 51, is a retired firefighter. He confirmed via telephone and his Facebook page that he was driving the bus, but he denied FOX 4's request for comment.

School district leaders won't say what disciplinary action students connected to the fire might face.

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