Two MBTA employees were taken to the hospital Thursday afternoon after a bus fire at the T’s Arborway bus yard in Jamaica Plain, officials said, in the latest safety issue to strike the troubled agency.
An out-of-service bus had just returned to the bus yard when flames were seen coming from its rear compartment about 3:10 p.m., according to a statement from MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo.
“MBTA personnel attempted to extinguish the flames but were unsuccessful,” Pesaturo said. “The Boston Fire Department responded and extinguished the flames.”
A fire department spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.
Pesaturo said two MBTA workers were taken to the hospital to be evaluated for potential smoke inhalation. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
A photo posted on Twitter showed a bus with its upper rear section engulfed in orange flames while thick, black smoke billowed around the vehicle.
Darragh Murphy, who took the photo, said she was driving home to Dorchester from an appointment in Jamaica Plain “when out of the corner of my eye, I saw orange flames.”
“That bus was driving down Washington Street on fire and then went into the yard,” Murphy, 53, said in an interview.
“I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a vehicle on fire, but it gets pretty big pretty quick,” Murphy said. “The flames shoot up, that big, bright orange rolling flame. … But the driver seemed to very calmly drive … maybe 100 yards down into the MBTA parking yard there on Washington Street. So kudos to them.”
At the next intersection, Murphy turned around and went back, parking alongside the bus yard’s fence on Washington Street and snapping a photo. She then watched as firefighters quickly arrived and put out the blaze with fire extinguishers within about 15 minutes, she said.
“It was so hot out there, though. Oh my goodness,” she said.
Murphy said she rarely takes the T, but her daughters use the system regularly.
“Now, I mean, it’s a heat wave, and accidents happen … but just the same, it seems like it’s one thing after the other,” she said. The people of the whole region … really deserve a public transportation system that works.”
The fire came just one day after officials announced that the Orange Line would shut down for 30 days for track repairs, as the MBTA struggles to address issues that have led to repeated service shutdowns and safety concerns in recent months.
While the Orange Line is shut down, the MBTA plans to use mostly buses from private companies to transport passengers, but will also use some of its own buses, according to Pesaturo.
“An exact number is not known at this time, nor how often they may be used,” he said via e-mail, adding later that “if or when MBTA buses are used to support the shuttle service, it’s likely it would be on weekends only.”
The T has been under scrutiny by the Federal Transit Administration since April, following a string of safety incidents, including the April 10 dragging death of a Red Line passenger at Broadway station. Last week, the federal agency ordered “an immediate safety standdown” to address ongoing issues with runaway trains.
Taylor Dolven of the Globe staff contributed to this report.
Bus on fire on Washington Street just outside Forest Hills. Kudos to the driver for safely driving their ON FIRE bus into the @MBTA yard. Also kudos to @BostonFire for arriving in less than a minute and putting out the fire.❤️🙏🏼 🔥 #bospoli Please stay safe out there today. pic.twitter.com/VZyBpYDUdh— Darragh Murphy (@DarraghCMurphy) August 4, 2022