Bus fire at Roundswell closes A39 in Barnstaple
A double-decker bus caught fire on the A39 at Roundswell last night forcing the road to be closed.
Two fire crews from Barnstaple were called to the scene after the Stagecoach bus caught fire on the A39 next to KFC at Roundswell Services at around 6.30pm.
Eyewitnesses reported seeing the bus come to halt after large flames started roaring from the back-end.
Anna Tarasiuk, who is the manager of the Roundswell Travelodge, called 999 to report the incident.
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She said: “I saw the bus in full flame. It looked scary.
"I called 999 but I think someone else called as well. I was worried about my customers because we have a full car park.
"The fire crew sorted it out very quickly. I can’t say exactly how long the bus was in full flame for because I was working in the back office.”
Simon Robinson, who works at RAC, was parked at the services when the bus caught alight.
He said: “We had just parked and were waiting to be called out for our next job when we saw the bus come to a stop. Flames were coming out of the back.
“Someone asked if they could borrow our fire extinguisher from the van but we were advised that it was too dangerous to attempt.”
His colleague Luke Cowell said the flames were over the top of the bus at one point.
Several people took to Twitter to share news of the fire.
@Lou_Lou_Bird posted: "Lorry on fire on link road at Roundswell #Barnstaple virtually next to KFC. Passed at 6.40pm, no fire engine yet."
And @eleanorxdavis wrote: "Bus fire at Roundswell .. Uh ohh!"
Scott Martin, of Barnstaple Fire Station, responded to the incident.
He said: “We took two pumps and a water bowser and it took around 20 minutes to extinguish. As far as I’m aware there were no passengers onboard.”
He also confirmed the fire was caused by a mechanical fault around the engine compartment.
A spokesman for Stagecoach said the bus was not in service at the time of the incident out but said it was "significantly damaged" as a result of the fire.
She said: "The driver of an out-of-service bus detected smoke coming from the vehicle yesterday evening while travelling on the A39 at Roundswell.
"The driver pulled over immediately and alerted the fire services who attended the scene.
"There were no passengers on board the bus at the time and the driver was not injured. However, there was significant damage caused to the vehicle.
"Safety is our absolute priority and we will now carry out a thorough investigation into this incident."
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