Fire destroys buses at N.J. company that’s burned before

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RIDGEFIELD, N.J. — Ten jitney buses were destroyed when flames ripped through a Sphinx bus company on Hendricks Causeway in Ridgefield early Wednesday, and an employee said they’re unable to send out drivers to carry commuters between New Jersey and New York.

An official told PIX11 News no one called police. Instead, an officer on patrol spotted the flames at about 1 a.m. Firefighters were on the scene working until after 5 a.m. Arson investigators scoured the area for evidence.

A neighbor said she overheard people in the bus yard laughing just before the fire.

“They were laughing before, like there was firecrackers or something, and then all of the sudden I heard a loud explosion,” Bonnie Brown said.

An undercover PIX11 investigation in 2015 found Sphinx drivers texting and talking on their phones while behind the wheel. We also uncovered 196 federal violations against the company, all written within a 2-year period. Citations list drivers as being drunk and tired, and driving without a license.

“It’s just one thing after another it seems like with them,” said neighbor John DeLuise, who has called police to complain. “The buses, if you look at half of them, they’re held by tape. Are they that safe to be on the streets?”

Sphinx Bus Company was also in the news in 2013, when one of their drivers was involved in a fatal crash in North Bergen that killed an infant, Angelie Paredes.

Management at the company would not speak to PIX11 on camera Wednesday about the morning fire.

The cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

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