A school bus driver helped evacuate nearly two dozen children from a bus after the vehicle caught fire.
Prince George’s County Fire Department spokesman Mark Brady said in a statement that 20 students from Glen Arden Woods Elementary School were safely evacuated Monday evening without any reports of injuries.
Bus driver Renita Smith told Washington, D.C.-based WUSA9 she just went into “mommy mode” to protect her charges. She smelled burning and pulled over to report it to her bus depot.
“By the time I got the mic,” she told the news station, “one of my little ones said, ‘No, Ms. Bus Driver, it’s fire!” “I unbuckled my seatbelt, I open my door, and I got my babies off the bus.”
It’s not clear what caused the fire in College Park. Brady says it appears to have started near one of the back wheels of the bus before spreading throughout the rest of the vehicle.
Most parents were able to pick up their children from the scene, while the others were taken to safety by a second responding bus.
Dashcam video posted by The Washington Post and other news outlets shows the bus engulfed in flames and heavy plumes of smoke.