A school bus driver from Smithville, Miss.-based Monroe County School District was recently recognized for keeping students safe after his bus caught fire in September, the Monroe Journal reports.

David Loveless, who has been a driver for the district for eight years, was presented with a plaque of appreciation by Monroe County Superintendent of Education Brian Jernigan and Chad O’Brian, the principal for Smithville Attendance Center, on Oct. 21 for saving five students from the bus fire, according to the news source.

Loveless told the Monroe Journal that he was headed toward Hatley High School when he heard a “loud boom” as the bus crossed a railroad track. He added that his first reaction was to drive away from the railroad crossing to evacuate students off the bus as he saw smoke and flames coming from the bus’s engine.

When it came to ensuring the safety of students, Loveless told the news source that “I couldn’t have done it without them” as the students “did an excellent job of evacuating” and calling for help. He also said that the school conducts bus evacuation drills twice a year. The fire was apparently caused by an exploded turbocharger, according to the Monroe Journal.

Read the full story from the Monroe Journal.