Hoops4L.Y.F.E. seeks help to replace bus damaged by fire

The small bus fire has forced Hoops4L.Y.F.E. Director Brittany Ward to look for new transportation.

Hoops4L.Y.F.E. seeks help to replace bus damaged by fire
September 26
01:35 2019

Nonprofit organizations help countless individuals on a daily basis. Who do they turn to when they are in need? That is a question Brittany Ward, director of Hoops4L.Y.F.E. (HFL), is asking now.

Last week, just hours after picking up her bus from the repair shop, it began to smoke and minutes later went up in flames. Now Ward is on the hunt for funding to purchase a new bus, because being without transportation hinders her efforts with HFL.

According to Ward, she shelled out over $2,500 in late August for electric and A/C repairs. An hour after picking up the bus, it broke down. The vehicle was towed back to the shop and was charged an additional $442.34, plus tow fees, for additional work that was not performed the first time.

The bus was picked up the second time on the morning of Monday, Sept. 16. By that afternoon, Ward noticed smoke filling the cabin of the bus. She immediately pulled over to locate the origin of the smoke. Once out of the vehicle, she realized that the smoke was not coming from under the hood, but from the front panel of the bus. Moments later, she saw flames.

She immediately put the flames out and called the shop where the work on the bus was done. Once the fire department arrived, they found out it was the wiring under the front panel that caused the blaze.

Ward was on the phone with the shop where the work was done while the bus was on fire. The shop came to pick up the bus the next day, but they did not assume any responsibility for the bad wiring.

“I thought they were going to assume responsibility for any repairs and damage that happened, but I was wrong,” said Ward. “I was texting and calling for a few days and he finally responded by saying they have to order more parts.”

Ward went on to say that the mechanic said she would have to speak to the owner of the shop about covering the new repairs after the fire. That’s when she knew they would not be covering the new damage.

“I am taking a direct impact from this, because now I don’t have a bus and I don’t have any money to get another one,” she said. “One hundred percent of my kids rely on the transportation, and their parents do as well, for meetings at their kids’ schools.”

The biggest concern for Ward was that she had kids on the bus when it caught fire. During the emergency, she was worried one of the children could have been injured as they scrambled off the bus.

Ward received confirmation from a second opinion that it was in fact the wiring that started the fire and she would be better off getting a new vehicle due to the extent of damage to the bus. She stated she is going to pursue legal representation to resolve the issue.

To assist Ward in her efforts to purchase a new or used bus, please visit the Hoops4LYFE Facebook page,  visit the Winston-Salem Federal Credit Union and donate to the Hoops4LYFE account, or mail checks or money orders to the local NAACP office, 4130 Oak Ridge Dr., Winston-Salem, NC  27105.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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