TEN passengers escaped what could have been another serious bus fire incident at Waisali Hill along the Savusavu and Labasa highway.
Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro said they received reports of nine bus fires so far, including the latest incident.
Ms Naisoro confirmed the incident occurred about 4.30pm on Tuesday as the bus, which belongs to Dalip Chand and Sons, was travelling towards Labasa.
"Quick action by the bus driver managed to avert the bus fire incident," she said.
"The 38-year-old driver noticed smoke coming from the engine and managed to disembark all 10 passengers safely. The bus is at the Seaqaqa Police Station awaiting vehicle inspection as investigations continue."
While the management of the company refused to comment, a company senior staff member who wished to remain anonymous said they were glad the 10 passengers were safe.
The staff member said they were told by the driver that a piece of paper was trapped in the bus muffler which caused fire to the engine. The staff member added they were working with the authorities to determine the cause of the fire and how the paper got into the muffler.
Regular commuters voiced their concerns about certain buses which had sealed glass windows, including the one that was involved in Tuesday's incident.
Isoa Vesitabu of Nabalebale in Wailevu, Cakaudrove said the passengers were lucky to have escaped.
"If the fire was more serious, the passengers could have died in the bus since they had nowhere to flee, considering that the windows were all sealed," Mr Vesitabu said.
LTA's Northern regional manager Isoa Tawakevou said they would comment once investigations were completed.