Boston Heights -- No injuries were reported this morning after a charter bus carrying about 60 students from the Jackson Local School District in North Canton caught fire on Route 8 north, just north of Route 303.

The chartered bus -- one of a group of eight -- was taking the students to Cedar Point and was heading north on Route 8 around 8:30 a.m. when the driver noticed smoke coming from the battery compartment, said Boston Heights Police Chief Raymond Heatwall.

The Valley Fire District was called to respond.

"The bus driver noticed smoke right at Route 303," said Valley Fire District Chief Charlie Riedel. "By the time he could get [out of] traffic, the bus was filling up with smoke."

The passengers were evacuated from the bus and taken to the ODOT garage on Chittenden Road around 10:30 a.m., where they were picked up by buses from the Jackson School District to resume their trip, Heatwell said.

Two lanes of traffic were blocked for about an hour, though the fire was extinguished within about five minutes, officials said.

The bus had smoke and fire damage inside, but a damage estimate was not immediately available, Riedel said.

Reporter Heather Beyer contributed to this story.


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