In a report by Local 8, Knoxville, Tennessee Alcoa Fire Department Chief Roger Robinson said the brakes on the bus overheated, which started a fire in the fender well of the bus.
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Parents and children were shocked to see their school bus burn down in flames earlier Monday morning. Their bus which was supposed to provide secure passage—suddenly became anything but safe.
Fear and shock are not enough to describe what parents and children felt Monday morning. One fourth grader describes it as “one big gunshot; everybody moved and jumped and jerked a little bit and then the bus went like that,” fourth-grader Cesar Perez said.
The Alcoa School bus was almost finished with its route with 29 children on board ranging from elementary to high school when everyone heard a loud noise and the school bus driver asked two older children to check the outside of the bus.
“They came back and told him that the back of the bus was on fire and then Bud made sure that everyone got off safely and he was making sure to be the last to make sure everyone gets off the bus,” third-grader Damien Cothern said.
“Everyone heard the pop but the fact that he didn’t ignore the kids or think that they were playing a joke, that he listened and acted,” Amanda Cothern said.
Parents and children are praising the quick reaction of the school bus driver known as “Buddy.”