A number 18 bus caught fire at around 12.30 today in downtown Berkeley while traveling north on Shattuck Avenue. The fire eventually burned out a significant part of the bus. No passengers were injured in the incident.

Assistant Fire Chief Rod Foster said the Fire Department received a call about a bus being on fire at about 12.30. Two engines and a ladder truck were sent to the scene. “The engine and back of the bus were on fire,” he said. “It took us about 20 minutes to extinguish the flames.”

Photos: Tracey Taylor

According to Foster, the bus driver was flagged down by a motorist who told her there was smoke coming from the rear of the bus. The driver stopped the bus on Shattuck, between Blake and Dwight, and evacuated all the passengers before the fire took hold. Neither the driver nor the passengers suffered from smoke inhalation.

AC Transit has not issued a statement yet on what caused the fire. Spokesperson Clarence Johnson said the matter was under investigation and he could not speculate at this point as to what triggered the fire.

North-bound traffic between Blake and Dwight was being diverted while the fire crew worked on the bus. [Hat tip: Sarah Henry.]

Update, 10.09.10: bobcrazybear shared the photo below of the bus when it was on fire:

Tracey Taylor is co-founder of Berkeleyside and co-founder and editorial director of Cityside, the nonprofit parent to Berkeleyside and The Oaklandside. Before launching Berkeleyside, Tracey wrote for...