Toby Keith tour bus catches fire on I-65
A tour bus carrying members of country singer Toby Keith's band caught fire on southbound I-65 in Boone County early Monday morning. No one was injured, but the fire shut down the interstate for several hours. Toby Keith was not on board.
The Lebanon Fire Department was called to the scene just before 5:00 am. They found heavy fire pouring from the rear engine compartment and rear cabin. It took firefighters about 25 minutes to get the fire under control.
The driver spotted the fire as he was driving, and within seconds, the bus lost power. The driver coasted the bus into the emergency lane. He told firefighters he's never had any trouble with the bus and didn't notice any problems before setting off that morning.
The convoy of buses was carrying backup singers, guitar technicians and other members of Keith's tour group. They were headed from Chicago to Nashville.
All lanes were back open just before 9:00 am.
Damage is estimated at $250,000 and could increase once fire investigators determine the value of the personal property and equipment the bus was carrying that may have been lost.
Although the bus was badly burnt, several items were salvaged.
The investigation is ongoing but Lebanon Fire Investigators are saying the fire began in the engine compartment of the tour bus. Most equipment stowed in the large lower exterior baggage compartments was not damaged.
A large wrecker towed the bus to a local secured lot to allow for Lebanon Fire Department investigators to complete their investigation.
Zionsville Fire, Center Twp. Fire, Whitestown fire, Boone Co. EMS, Lebanon Police and Boone Co. Sheriff's Deputies all assisted with fighting the fire, shuttling water and traffic control.