Flames Engulf AC Transit Bus

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AC Transit Bus Fire
An AC Transit bus caught fire after running over a...

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No one was injured during a fire Monday that reduced an AC Transit bus to a burned-out hulk, smoldering near the intersection of Shattuck Avenue and Dwight Way.

According to Sabina Imrie, the Berkeley Fire Department's assistant fire chief for special operations, the first call reporting the blaze came at around 12:35 p.m.

When fire crews from the department arrived on the scene, they found the back portion of the bus and the area where its engine is housed ablaze.

Imrie said the fire was contained by about 12:50 p.m.

AC Transit spokesperson Clarence Johnson said the driver operating the bus was informed there was something dragging from its rear by a person who pulled their car alongside the bus. When the driver confirmed there was smoke trailing behind the bus in a rear-view mirror, she immediately stopped and evacuated the passengers aboard.

"Almost the second she (evacuated the passengers), the bus was engulfed in flames," Johnson said. "So she really did what we think is a heroic job."

While investigators were not able to confirm the fire's cause as of press time - and Johnson said he could not speculate on the matter - what appeared to be a mattress was found underneath the bus.

"There's something that was definitely underneath the bus that was being dragged," Imrie said. "We don't have that confirmed yet. Investigators are still working on it."

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