PEDESTRIANS had to tell a bus driver the vehicle was on fire as he drove through Hinderwell oblivious.
And then he had to knock on residents’ doors to ask for help in putting the blaze out.
The early morning drama unfolded on the number 5 service between Middlesbrough and Wednesday just after 8.30am on Tuesday.
The driver quickly got his passengers off the bus and used an extinguisher to tackle the flames before the back window blew out.
Resident Jacqui Byron said: “The neighbour knocked on my door and asked for a fire extinguisher because the bus was on fire.”
Shortly afterwards fire crews from Lythe and Whitby arrived on the scene.
Kerry Murray was driving to work when she came across the fire.
She said: “I arrived in Hinderwell and saw a lot of smoke and the traffic was tailing back. The flames coming from the bus were huge.”
The bus was left with 10% fire damage and 90% smoke damage with the blaze thought to have started in the engine compartment.
Miss Murray added: “As a bus user, it is worrying to think that I may have been on this bus if my Mam hadn’t lent me the car today. We had to sit in the traffic jam for about half an hour, I was late for work thanks to Arriva.”
With limited access through the village, cars were left with little alternative but to sit tight and wait for the area to be safe again.
Nick Knox, area managing director for Arriva North East, said: “We can confirm that one of our buses was involved in a vehicle fire this morning in Hinderwell. We are currently carrying out a full investigation into exactly what happened.”