A mechanical failure caused a shuttle bus burst into flames in front of Vancouver city hall Friday night.

Batllion Chief Mike Sereda said the driver first noticed smoke and pulled the vehicle over.

"Once the driver stopped, the flames came out and everyone was out of the bus at that time and the bus became fully involved after that," he said.

Fire officials said police first spotted the inferno near Cambie Street and Broadway and called the fire department.

"it was a pillar of flames," described witness Melanie Woods.

All six passengers and the bus driver had fled the bus and were not hurt.

They said firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the flames.

Officials said the fire started in the engine compartment as a result of a mechanical failure.

The bus is related to Bacio Rosso, a cabaret cirque show.