A Storrington community minibus was destroyed in a blaze in Steyning on Wednesday (August 6).
Astonishing pictures (see right) show the 15-seater minibus on fire and the charred remains in Dingemans Court, Shooting Field.
Shoreham firefighters said the cause was accidental but the bus suffered 80 per cent damage by fire and was 100 per cent damaged by smoke. No-one was hurt.
Eyewitnesses said they smelled burning at around 4pm, though at first it was thought to be a bonfire or barbecue.
It then became obvious it was a minibus on fire, in the Dingemans Court car park.
By the time firefighters arrived the flames were ‘pretty high’ and the bus was completely burned out.
The bus was the spare one from the Community Minibus Association’s Storrington division.
Rodger Hunt of the Community Minibus Association (CMA) said: “The Steyning minibus was actually away being serviced that day and it was a bus from a neighbouring division that burned.
“Altogether, the CMA charity owns 12 minibuses operating, predominantly, as a Community Transport Lifeline for many senior citizens. It is run entirely by non-paid volunteers.
“The unexpected loss of this minibus puts a severe strain on the CMA budget. A new minibus is £30,000 or more and, as with any charity, is most grateful for any financial help it can get.
“Another aspect of the association’s needs are the unpaid volunteers who give of their time. New drivers and escorts are always needed and, currently, we the association is seeking a vehicle manager to oversee the operation.”
The cause of the fire is yet to be confirmed as the investigation continues.
If you would like to help, call Rodger on 01903 743954.