Emergency services respond to a Superior Coach Line bus that caught ablaze on Upton Road near the Trans-Canada Highway Sunday, Sept. 23. Guardian photo by Mitch MacDonald
A fire that ignited a Superior Coach Lines bus Sunday night in Charlottetown is not considered suspicious, fire officials say.
On Sunday at 10:13 p.m., the bus had returned to P.E.I. from Fredericton and was at the intersection of the Trans Canada highway and Upton road when the driver noticed flames in the rear of the bus.
He pulled over and attempted to contain the fire himself with two fire extinguishers. After believing he had successfully put the fire out, the driver returned to the front of the bus, only to discover more flames flaring.
That’s when he called 9-1-1.
By the time emergency responders arrived on the scene, the bus was completely enveloped in flames.
RCMP closed a section of Maypoint Road for several hours while firefighters doused the fire and cleared the area.
A number of nearby residents reported hearing an explosion related to the bus fire. Many believed the bus or something on it had exploded.
Charlottetown Fire Inspector Winston Bryan said this was simply the back tires of the bus bursting.
Although a fire of this nature is an unusual occurrence, Bryan said the cause is not deemed at this time to be suspicious.
“It’s being treated as an accidental fire,” he said.
It was likely a mechanical problem that led to the blaze, he added.
Charlottetown Deputy Police Chief Gary McGuigan said the matter is still under investigation, but early evidence suggests the cause of the fire may have been a gas leak.
“It doesn’t appear as though there was any sign of foul play,” McGuigan said.
The Charlottetown Fire Department will continue its investigation to conclusively determine the cause.
No one was injured during this incident. Prior to discovering the fire, the driver had safely dropped off the hockey team that had been travelling in the bus.