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Hawley to loan two school buses to Ulen-Hitterdal

Ulen-Hitterdal and Hawley high schools are rivals in basketball, but combine forces to field teams in cross country, track and golf.

Now they'll also share school buses, at least temporarily.

The Hawley public schools will loan Ulen-Hitterdal two buses to replace buses damaged in a fire Saturday night.

The loaned buses will allow Ulen-Hitterdal school buses to run their routine route schedules today, Mark Schreiner, the school district's transportation director, said Sunday.

"Everything will be back to normal tomorrow," he said. "It was very nice of the Hawley School District to help us out."


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One bus was destroyed and four buses were damaged in Saturday's fire at the school-bus barn in Ulen, which was discovered by a passing volunteer firefighter.

The fire apparently was caused by an electrical glitch in the block heater of the bus that was destroyed, then spread to other buses, Dave Begg, Ulen fire chief, said Saturday night.

The fire remains under investigation, Schreiner said.

Fire melted doors, windows, lights and wiring in two buses and caused heavy smoke damage to two others, Schreiner said.

An insurance adjuster will examine the damaged buses today or later this week to determine whether they can be repaired or should be replaced, he said.

About 230 to 240 of the Ulen-Hitterdal district's estimated 275 students ride buses. Buses pick up students in Ulen, Hitterdal and other towns and rural areas, including Felton and Twin Valley.

Until the damaged buses are repaired or replaced, Ulen-Hitterdal's bus fleet will operate without spares. "We won't have reserve buses," Schreiner said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Patrick Springer at (701) 241-5522