FOREST HILLS, Mich.–A school bus burst into flames Wednesday morning in Forest Hills, and the bus driver is now being credited for getting everyone out safely.
The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation, but Forest Hills School District Transportation Supervisor Darryl Hofstra says it appears to be electrical.
The bus is a 2005 Saf-T-Liner built by Thomas. Forest Hills has nine others like it in their fleet and until the investigation is complete they have taken all similar models out of service.
Hofstra says the driver started to smell smoke as she was approaching her next stop, then some of the kids waiting to get on noticed the sparks. Hofstra says the driver didn’t let the kid’s board and evacuated the some 20 students on the bus, minutes later the bus started on fire.
Hofstra says he couldn’t be more proud of the driver and the way she reacted. “Timing is very important in these kinds of cases and prompt action, and she did that,” he said.
There isn’t a Michigan law that requires school districts to practice evacuations but many still do. Hofstra says three times a year they go over drills with their drivers and students.
“Those procedures and all of that training are very important in the process and clearly that paid of very well this morning. Everything went just as it’s suppose to,” said Hofstra.
The manufacturer is expected to be out Thursday to take a look at the bus.