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Traffic backs up 5 miles after bus fire blocks lanes of I-81 north

Traffic backs up 5 miles after bus fire blocks lanes of I-81 north (Image 1) (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) - Traffic backed up five miles Friday afternoon when a bus fire blocked all lanes of Interstate 81 northbound, just north of I-581. 

Roanoke Fire-EMS said crews were dispatched to mile marker 145 just before 3:00 p.m. At 2:52 p.m. When fire crews first arrived they found a bus similar in style to a Greyhound bus, with heavy flames coming from the back.

Everyone inside of the bus had evacuated without injury and were standing on the side of the interstate.

Crews said it took about 20 minutes to get the flames under control. The bus was not considered a total loss, but was not drive-able.

Reportedly, there were 52 adults on board, who were traveling from Texas to Chesterfield County, Virginia. They were taken to local motels until alternate transportation was arranged.

Fire investigators have determined the fire started in the area of the engine compartment located in the rear of the bus, however were not able to pinpoint exactly what caused the initial spark.