Arson investigators are trying to determine who intentionally set fire to a bus belonging to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Austin.
The bus, used to transport 100 children to the Boys and Girls Club in East Austin, is filled with soot and broken glass. The charred seats reveal evidence of arson.
Executive Vice President of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Austin Area, Misti Potter, was alerted to the fire on Sunday.
"This is devastating .To just know that someone took it upon themselves to maliciously do this, it just breaks my heart,” said Potter.
Arson Investigator Captain Andy Reardon says a woman driving by saw smoke around 2 p.m. and called 9-1-1.
"Some of the things we're looking at are possible homeless activity,” said Reardon. “Then the other thing we're looking at is kid activity. There's some indicators from the evidence we found inside the bus that indicates that somebody was trying to set that bus on fire not just use it as a warming fire."
While Reardon follows leads Potter's focus is on the children who depend on the bus for transportation.
"The only difference between kids who come from impoverished neighborhoods and those who do not and their peer groups is simply access and transportation,” said Potter. "We pick up the kids from school. They come to the club. They go on field trips on this bus,” Without it, we're in a very, very bad situation come January 3rd."
Potter says she's contacted vendors and feels confident if they are able to raise $60-thousand dollars by Friday the organization will have time to purchase a new bus and have it delivered before the winter break ends.
Potter says donations have come in from all over the state. Wednesday they were at the halfway point.
"While this is tragic, it's turning into something really beautiful for our community because people are pulling together for our children,” she said.
If you have any information about this crime, call AFD arson investigators at 512-974-0240.