Menlo Park: Bus fire snarls traffic on U.S. 101


A casino bus caught fire on southbound U.S. 101 in Menlo Park Thursday evening, according to Menlo Park Fire Protection District officials.

Menlo Park and Redwood City firefighters were called to the scene of the fire on the shoulder of U.S. 101 just north of Willow Road at 6:12 p.m., according to Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman.

Upon arrival, they found a full-sized casino bus fully involved in fire, Schapelhouman said.

CHP Officer Amelia Jack said there were two people on the bus, a male driver and a female passenger.

The male driver was uninjured, while the passenger was treated for smoke inhalation at the scene and not taken to a hospital, Jack said.

The bus fire spread to the vegetation along the freeway sound wall, prompting firefighters to call for additional engines.

Firefighters used saws to remove the skin of the bus to extinguish the fire in the interior, and ran a water supply hose line 550 feet from a fire hydrant on the other side of the sound wall, on Van Buren Street, Schapelhouman said.

The fire was under control within around 20 minutes.

The cause remains under investigation but the fire is thought to have originated in the battery tray area of the bus, Schapelhouman said.

The fire caused the closure of several lanes on the freeway, causing traffic to back up all the way to Woodside Road, according to the CHP. All lanes were reopened around 8:40 p.m.

Jack said the bus was a 1998 Van Hool coach, registered to Medina Tours & Charters in San Jose.

— Bay City News Service

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