BREAKING: Truck catches fire on Comm. Ave.

A vehicle was caught on fire on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston University's western portion of campus Friday morning. PHOTO BY TARYN OTTAUNICK/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

A vehicle caught on fire on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston University’s western portion of campus Friday morning. PHOTO BY TARYN OTTAUNICK/DAILY FREE PRESS STAFF

A truck was on fire in the area of 872 Commonwealth Ave. at about 10:30 a.m. Friday morning, eyewitnesses said.

The truck caught fire outside of the 7-11 and Elements massage across the street from the College of General Studies. The fire was quickly put out at about 10:50 a.m.

Boston University sent out an alert to students at about 11:06 a.m., which said BU Police Department, Boston Police Department, Boston Fire Department, and Brookline Police Department were responding to the scene.

No injuries are reported and all surrounding streets were closed, but have since reopened, the alert stated.

The truck was in the process of being towed away by Todisco Towing around 12:30 p.m.

Scott Paré, BUPD deputy director of public safety, said their department assisted in blocking off surrounding streets in Brookline and Boston, and the cause of the fire is now under investigation.

“The reason for all the caution I believe was that it was a propane truck,” he said. “The reason to keep everyone away was to make sure everyone was safe.”

A Green Line B-train was halted on the tracks as firefighters were putting out the fire. Traffic on Comm. Ave. was backed up past the BU Bridge.

Kevin Sewyck, a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority transit officer who responded to the scene, said there was no damage to the trolleys or tracks, but service was suspended because of the truck’s proximity to the tracks.

“With safety in mind, we wanted to make sure that no one gets hurt while the fire department comes and extinguishes the vehicle and cleans up any potentially hazardous materials from the fire.”

The BU Shuttle experienced delays due to the fire, tweeting out at 11:01 a.m. that “service on Commonwealth [Avenue] will be extremely delayed” and students should refer to the BU Mobile app for accurate arrival times.

Several students and residents witnessed the truck fire and said the flames and smoke were entirely engulfing the truck.

“I was on the Green Line heading in toward the city and the train stopped for a few minutes and then started backing up,” said CJ Porriclli, a senior at Suffolk University. “There were a lot of people. Everyone was told to get off the T…There were probably a few hundred people, and they didn’t know where to go or anything. They just kind of crossed the street and walked down Comm. Ave.”

Meihui Li, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, said she was riding the BUS when the fire began, and while many students exited the bus and ran in the other direction, many took out their phones and began taking photos.

“I was kind of surprised. I was more concerned about my own safety than about taking pictures and posting them online,” she said. “I was assuming that it might be an oil truck, and I was afraid it was going to explode…The fire pretty much stopped after the firefighters got here.”

Stephanie Pagones and Paige Smith contributed to the reporting of this story.

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