A Stagecoach bus caught on fire on the A39 near Roundswell Services near Barnstaple
A DOUBLE-DECKER bus burst into flames on the A39 at Roundswell on Thursday.
Firefighters from Barnstaple were called after the Stagecoach bus caught fire next to KFC at the Roundswell Service Station at around 6.30pm.
Eyewitnesses told the Journal they saw the bus stop along the link road with flames roaring from the back.
Anna Tarasiuk, manager of the Roundswell Travelodge, called 999.
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She said: "I saw the bus in full flame. It looked scary.
"I called 999, 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 for the 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 so high they went over the top of the bus at one point.
Scott Martin, of Barnstaple Fire Station, said: "We took two pumps and a water bowser. It took around 20 minutes to extinguish."
He said the fire was caused by a mechanical fault around the engine compartment.
People took to Twitter to help spread the word.
@JosieTrapnell: "That bus driver at #Roundswell must have had a good curry for flames to be shooting out the back end."
@northdevonplus: "Bus on fire on link road by Roundswell roundabout avoid if you can."
A spokesman for Stagecoach said: "The driver of an out-of-service bus detected smoke coming from the vehicle. The driver pulled over and alerted the fire services.
"There were no passengers on board and the driver wasn't injured. However, there was significant damage caused to the vehicle."
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