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Driver's quick thinking credited with saving lives in bus fire

READ MORE: Driver's quick thinking credited with saving lives in bus fire
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BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- A scary field trip for students in Brunswick County, when their activity bus caught fire on the way back to school. It happened this afternoon near NC 87 and Funston Road.

Forty people from Leland Middle School were on the activity bus. They were returning from a field trip around 1:30 p.m. when the bus driver heard a loud "pop" and then pulled off the road.

Flames tore through the entire length of it. Despite all the damage no one was hurt.

The driver, who is also a Leland Middle School teacher, pulled off the road after hearing the pop, noticed smoke, and quickly got all the students off the bus. He then called 911.

"The quick and decisive action of the driver and the school's personnel was really helpful," Brunswick Co. Emergency Services Director Anthony Marzano said. "That's exactly what they should've done and that kept it from being a potentially bad situation for everyone involved."

A bad situation, because within minutes, flames had engulfed the activity bus. Then, a tire exploded and flew up in the air, finally landing in a yard nearby.

Firefighters, the sheriff's office, emergency services and the school superintendent all responded.

The school district says the fire started at the rear of the bus. It was reported that the tires were on fire, but because this was a rear-engine bus, it could've been the engine that was on fire.

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Quick response!! Really?

My child was on this bus and texted me for 12 minutes with smoke pouring from the bus before this driver decided to stop the bus!! The teachers and parents on the bus were aware of the need to stop, but even after loud explosion sounds he kept driving!! He did not pull over until the wheel blew off! Thank god those kids got off not the driver! If there are heros to be thanked it's the parents chaproning the trip who helped each kid off the bus and kept them moving until they were safe.

My child was also on that

My child was also on that bus and she was really upset when she saw the newspaper today. She told me the same thing your child told you. Thank God the teacher and chaperons finally got the driver to stop the bus. We are so blessed that the school requires teachers and ask for chaperons to attend field trips. Without them on that bus that day our children may not be with us today. You are right they are the real heroes.

please...

please take your cell phone with the timeline of text messages to the school so that they can see how long it took to get the bus evacuated. If what you are saying is true, there is a problem.

Is your child safe?

Did your child arrive home safe and sound? I thought as much!

Is my child safe??

Yes thanks to God and the parent volunteers not a bus driver who nearly got them all killed. Policy says he should have stopped the mment he smelled smoke not 12-15 minutes later! And I have physical proof of that! So unless you were on the bus you sould shutup!

Thank God for the quick

Thank God for the quick thinking of the Teacher. This was a disaster that was averted. My hat's off to that teacher!

Something positive out of Leland for a change.....

While no one likes to see people - kids especially - placed in a position where they could be injured, it was refreshing to see that a school official had the presence of mind to get these kids out, and away from this bus. Of course, they will probably pin this on some mechanic who did maintenance on this bus two years ago, or something because there always has to be someone to blame for everything. At least the driver did the right thing.

Finally, a Brunswick County

Finally, a Brunswick County Schools bus driver with a head on his shoulders who actually cared enough about the children to get them out of harm's way.