A Broward County school bus driver, whose name has not been released, was on her usual route bringing students home from Nova Blanche Forman Elementary School in Davie, Florida, on Thursday afternoon when the engine caught fire, and she jumped into action. According to onlookers who spoke with Miami news station WSVN, the scene was “unbelievable.”
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” area resident Maria Velez told the outlet. “When I saw this, oh, my heart was just – I was just hoping there were no kids involved.”
Fortunately, the 16 children who were involved came out of it uninjured, after the driver brought the bus to a stop and directed them all to a nearby parking lot. Tamarac Police and Fire Rescue responded to the scene just after 4:15 PM once the bus was already empty and up in flames.
“The 16 children we found in excellent condition, since evacuating from a school bus that was on fire. Each child was calm, cool and collected, the driver was in control when spoken to some 10 minutes after the fire began,” a spokesperson for the Tamarac Fire Department tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “The driver did a great job, not only getting them off safely but keeping them safe following the evacuation.”
“The bus driver I think was a hero,” onlooker, Fitzroy Johnson, additionally told Miami news station WPLG.
Another onlooker, Bobby Ziady, posted photos and video of the fire to his Facebook, showing the flames getting extinguished.
Representatives from Broward County County Public Schools didn’t immediately reply to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment. But the Tamarac Fire Department explains that a second bus arrived to take the children to their respective bus stops, while some were also picked up from the scene by their parents.
The fire was eventually extinguished and the bus was covered in foam to prevent re-ignition prior to being towed away. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
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