ELLSWORTH — A flat tire appears to have been the cause of a July 6 commuter bus fire behind Hannaford Supermarket, according to Downeast Transportation General Manager Paul Murphy.
Murphy said Downeast Transportation’s insurance company had a fire origination expert examine the bus.
“I don’t know how conclusive it is, but his determination was that the fire was caused by friction due to a flat tire,” Murphy explained.
The incident began at 7:15 the morning of July 6, when the bus driver returned from a run to Bar Harbor and was picking up commuters for another trip.
The driver realized that one of the tires had gone flat and left to get another bus at Colwell Diesel.
While she was gone, a passenger smelled smoke and got out to see flames in the wheel well of the flat tire. The passengers evacuated before flames engulfed the bus.
The Ellsworth Fire Department extinguished the blaze.