Fire officials say that a BC Transit bus driver safely evacuated all passengers from his bus when it began smoking Thursday afternoon. (Photo Courtesy of Su Liyanage)

Passengers evacuated from smoking transit bus in Oak Bay

Fire contained to engine, officials say

The Oak Bay Fire Department credits the quick thinking of a BC Transit bus driver for safely and quickly evacuating his bus when he became aware of a small engine fire.

The fire department was called to a smoking bus on Foul Bay Road near Granite Street around 4:30 p.m. Thursday evening. Chief Darren Hughes said all passengers had been safely evacuated by the time crews arrived, and the driver’s quick thinking – pulling over and turning off the engine – likely prevented a more serious fire.

READ ALSO: Oak Bay, Esquimalt looking for ‘community-minded’ firefighters

“The bus driver was impressive, he pulled it over, killed the power and evacuated the bus,” Hughes said. Fire investigators believe the fire was started by mechanical failure. The smoke and flames were contained to the engine.

In an emailed statement, Director of Safety John Palmer said BC Transit does not, at this time, know the exact cause of the fire.

“Our operator followed proper protocol and was able to ensure that all passengers were safely off of the bus,” Palmer said. “We appreciate the prompt attention from first responders.”

Palmer said the bus has been brought back to the maintenance yard where it will be inspected to determine the cause of the incident.

The incident impacted traffic in the area for about an hour while fire and public works crews cleared the scene. Crews will be back in the area today clearing some of the spilled oil from the street.



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

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