COLLEGE PARK, Md. — No students were injured when a school bus caught fire here on Monday, and the driver is being hailed for her response to the incident.
Firefighters from the Branchville Volunteer Fire Co. in College Park were alerted to the fire at about 4:45 p.m.
There were 20 students from Glenarden Woods Elementary School on the bus when the incident began. Mark Brady, public information officer for the Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department, said in a statement that the students “were evacuated from the bus by the driver that was able to remain calm throughout the ordeal.”
No injuries were reported in the incident. Most of the children were picked up at the scene by their parents, while another bus was dispatched to transport the others.
Brady said that the fire appeared to have originated near one of the rear wheels and spread throughout the bus, although the official cause had not been determined.
A dashcam video from the chief of the Branchville Volunteer Fire Co., whose vehicle was the first on the scene, shows the school bus engulfed in flames.
Local resident Fazlul Kabir posted photos and a description of the incident on Facebook. He said that school bus driver Renita Smith evacuated all 20 students and then went back onto the bus to make sure it was clear.
The incident attracted attention across the country. In California, the Los Angeles Fire Department praised Smith for her actions to protect her passengers.