A Florida bus driver is being hailed as a hero after helping to rescue nearly 40 children from a burning school bus.
Kristina Buhrman was driving the middle school students at about 7:15 a.m. Wednesday in Polk County, Florida, when the students started to smell smoke.
“A student yelled at me and said ‘There’s smoke coming in the bus.’ As soon as she yelled ‘there’s smoke in the bus,’ I immediately pulled over,” Buhrman said.
As the smoke thickened, Buhrman hustled the students off the bus while calling 911 dispatchers. The fire grew so hot, it blew out the windows, peeled away paint, and flattened the tires.
“The kids did great,” Buhrman said. “They got off in a single-file line. They moved quickly and they had to climb over the guardrail to get into the grass.”
Florida highway patrol trooper Sgt. Mary Godino commended Buhrman’s actions.
“The bus driver did a fabulous job in getting all those kids off in time, or, as you would have known, if they didn’t get off, it would have been a terrible thing,” Godino said.
A separate fire broke out on a school bus in Texas Wednesday, with 10 students evacuated to safety before the bus was engulfed in flames.