Las Cruces fire destroys bus just purchased at auction

LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) - A large bus fire that happened late Thursday night was caused by a tire blowout according to the Las Cruces Fire Department .

A 54-year-old man purchased the former corrections department transport vehicle at an auction in El Paso Thursday afternoon and was driving the bus back to Santa Fe. The man and his passenger exited at I-25 and University where the driver noticed that there was a fire near the rear driver's side.

Shortly thereafter, witnesses describe a small explosion which LCFD says was most likely the result of the outer-rear wheel bursting after the bus was stopped.

Investigators believe that the bus likely had a tire blowout on the inner tire on the driver's side. The friction of the blownout tire traveling at highway speed is most likely the cause of the fire.

LCFD says they were able to put out the flames within minutes and no injuries were reported.