A bus driver in Chippenham had a narrow escape when his vehicle caught fire.

The Faresaver bus caught alight just shortly after 1.30pm yesterday when the No 44 Barrow Green service turned into Elmwood.

The driver was alerted to smoke pouring from the engine by another driver flashing his lights.

Resident David Burgin, 67, saw the scene from his window and caught it on camera. He said: “It was really blazing away like hell, quite near the houses on either side.

“The driver escaped unharmed and had a fire extinguisher but it wasn’t doing anything. He looked a bit shaken up, it just happened so quickly and unexpectedly.

“If left to go on it could have sparked off people’s hedges, but the fire service were soon on the scene.

“Wiltshire Council also came within the hour and put grit down on the road to soak up the fuel and debris.”

The fire service said the engine compartment and rear of the bus were destroyed. There were was no one on the bus when they arrived at 1.46pm.

The Chippenham firefighters were there for half an hour and put out the blaze using breathing apparatus, two hose reels, a thermal imaging camera and a mechanical ventilation fan.

Faresaver Chippenham said there had been no passengers on board.

Justin Pickford, one of the managers, said: “We don’t know for sure at this stage but it was probably an electrical fault.

“The problem with buses is the driver’s at the front and the engine’s at the back, so if there’s a problem they may not know. In this case I think he was alerted by another road user who saw smoke coming out and was flashing his lights at him.”