NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Forty six bus passengers traded their bus tickets for ambulance rides early Tuesday morning after an engine fire left them stranded on the Turnpike.
The North Ridgeville Fire Department responded to the westbound lane of the Ohio Turnpike at 1:33 a.m. for reports of a bus on fire and arrived to find the engine fire extinguished and the bulk of the passengers standing in the median of a Turnpike on-ramp, according to a media release.
Fire officials determined that the bus passengers—who were returning to Detroit from a health-care reform rally in Washington, D.C. — would be better off in a location where they would have access to food, water, shelter and restroom facilities, the release said.
Phone calls were made to supervisors of the Sheetz store and gas station and McDonald’s restaurant located nearby on Lorain Road in North Ridgeville.
It took two ambulances and seven round trips before all of the passengers were delivered to their new departing stations after 3 a.m.
Mary Platz, a manager for McDonald’s, said although the restaurant is open
24-hours, the dine-in portion is routinely closed at 11 p.m., but was opened as the restaurant was switching over to the breakfast menu.
“When I called on my way in this morning, some of my employees said some of the passengers were sleeping in the play area,” she said.
“I told them to wake them up. We couldn’t have people lying around with customers coming in.”
Contact Stephen Szucs at 329-7129 or firstname.lastname@example.org.