Good-bye to an old friend

Fire at Tom A. Finch YMCA destroys bus
Jun. 23, 2014 @ 07:23 PM

A fire in Thomasville destroyed a bus at the Tom A. Finch YMCA on Tuesday morning.

Tommy Hodges, CEO of the YMCA, said members of the Thomasville Fire Department and Thomasville Police responded to the fire at 3:34 a.m. The bus, which was in the parking lot of the YMCA when it caught fire, was a total loss, but firefighters were able to extinguish the flames before any further property damage occurred.

The State Bureau of Investigation assisted in the investigation, and all three agencies are reporting the fire was not caused by arson.

“At this time, I honestly don’t know what happened. The official cause of the fire is unknown,” Hodges said. “Fortunately, no one was here when it happened. No one was hurt.”

Patrons at the Y could be overheard Tuesday discussing their disappointment that they must part with a vehicle many had grown fond.

“It’s really sad. That bus was my favorite,” said James Michaels, a resident of the Hasty community and YMCA patron. “They even had a nickname for it. ‘Fat boy’ or something like that.”

Initially, suspicion arose that the flames which engulfed the bus could have been intentionally set. Three other fires -- all of which have been ruled arson -- were set Tuesday morning in northern Davidson County, but it was determined those incidents were unrelated.

Officials with the Thomasville Fire Department were unavailable for comment.

Hodges is disappointed by the loss of the bus and how it will affect transportation for the summer, but was thankful the damage was mitigated.

“It was sitting beside another bus, so we are fortunate not to have lost another one,” Hodges said. “The unfortunate thing is that it disrupted our schedule of events for [Tuesday], which throws everything else off.”

Staff Writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 847-9911, or at kennedy@tvilletimes.com.