Hero Bus Driver Saves 56 Kids in Fire on Way To School

School bus driver Teresa Stroble didn’t anticipate her vehicle bursting into flames on Tuesday morning, but she knew exactly how to handle the situation once it began to unfold. The school bus driver from Duncan, South Carolina managed to get all 56 students from Duncan Elementary, Beech Springs Intermediate and Byrnes High school off of the bus before the vehicle was engulfed in fire after being alerted to the presence of smoke by two ninth grade students.

Photo: WSLS

In a statement on Facebook, the school district said that the “7-year veteran driver and teacher assistant for [Spartanburg School District 5] did exactly as she was trained and quickly and calmly evacuated all 56 students from the bus, and got them to a safe location.”

“She is a true hero!” noted the school district. Firefighters managed to contain the blaze, but the school bus was absolutely totalled.

“She did exactly what she was trained to do,” said Superintendent Scott Turner in an interview with WSPA. “She was calm. She kept the students calm. She made sure they were safe. They were her first priority. She’s our hero today.”

Photo: CBS

Stroble managed to get all of the students off the bus in less than a minute. A local member of the community who saw the blaze take place said he could feel the heat of the bus fire as he drove past.

“I was driving and saw a large black cloud ahead of me and as I got closer I saw the bus on fire in the car wash parking lot,” he told CBS News. “As I continued to drive by the heat was so intense I could feel it from inside my truck.”

The school district thanked the firefighters and Stroble for their valiant efforts, and Fire Chief Barry Frost told WSPA that a heater mounted beneath a passenger seat could be a possible cause of the fire.

Photo: Twitter – @stspart5

“We are so thankful for the quick action of the Duncan Fire Department in putting the fire out, and all district administrators who responded and helped with what could have been a very tragic situation,” the district said.