AUGUSTA — A shuttle bus that normally carries people around the facilities of the MaineGeneral Medical Center campus was damaged heavily Wednesday morning by fire, but no one was injured, as the passenger vehicle was parked and unoccupied when it started burning.

The white GMC bus was in a large lot behind the hospital when employees noticed smoke coming out of it shortly before 10 a.m. and called the Fire Department.

By the time firefighters arrived, a few flames were showing inside the unoccupied vehicle, said Battalion Chief Scott Dunbar, of the Augusta Fire Department. They broke the glass on the door of the bus and sprayed water inside to extinguish the flames.

Afterward, Dunbar estimated the damage to the vehicle to be around $20,000, meaning it was destroyed. But the outcome could have been worse, Dunbar said. A box truck and a Toyota sedan were parked on either side of the bus and could have been damaged if it had been fully engulfed.

The fire’s cause did not appear to be suspicious, according to Dunbar. He said it appeared to be the result of an electrical problem and was planning to speak with the person who drove it earlier in the day.

MaineGeneral staff members were also at the scene on Wednesday morning. The fire was spotted first by people working in the hospital’s service garage, which is about 100 feet away, said Mark St. John, administrative director of operations at the hospital.

Charles Eichacker — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @ceichacker

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