Delivery truck catches fire outside Rutland Grade School

Truck was delivering lunch order, but administrator doesn’t believe it will cause issues

A delivery truck bringing school lunches to Rutland Grade School in rural Ottawa caught fire Monday, but it’s not expected to cause any long-term problems for the school.

Superintendent Michael Matteson said the school cook does a good job with her orders by ordering ahead, so they just expect next week’s order to be on the larger side.

“The driver said his brakes were getting way too hot and he pulled in, and purposefully didn’t park next to the school,” Matteson said. “He got his own fire extinguisher out and our maintenance guy came out with a few more, and we called Marseilles Fire Department.”

Matteson said it’s lucky the incident happened before the students started getting to the school and he had the bus drivers keep driving around until it was safe to pull in and unload children. By the time parents started showing up the fire was pretty much out.

“I don’t know what we would have done if it had happened while the kids were there,” Matteson said. “We’re lucky it was before they came in.”

Matteson said he’s grateful to the Marseilles, Serena and Wallace departments because it took a lot of fire to douse the flames, and he’s especially grateful to the La Salle County Sheriff’s deputies.

“We get a lot of traffic along Route 71 here and we needed a lot of help to get parents in and out of the parking lot safely while it was full of fire trucks,” Matteson said.