A school bus driver saved 56 students like a true hero shortly before the vehicle caught fire in Duncan, South Carolina.
As soon as Teresa Stroble heard two children yelling about smoke, she immediately pulled over the school bus in a car wash parking lot. Both the children were sitting at the back of the vehicle.
Minutes before the bus burst into flames, Stroble ushered out all 56 students and called 911 for help. The students, who were evacuated within a minute thanks to the driver’s quick thinking skills, belonged to Duncan Elementary, Beech Springs Intermediate and Byrnes High School.
"I was driving and saw a large black cloud ahead of me," explained an eyewitness who wished to remain anonymous. "As I got closer I saw the bus on fire in the car wash parking lot. The heat was so intense I could feel it from inside my truck."
Firefighters arrived on the scene to contain the fire shortly.
"We are so proud of our bus driver. She did exactly what she was trained to do. She was calm. She kept the students calm. She made sure they were safe. They were her first priority. She’s our hero today," remarked school superintendent Scott Turner.
He praised the expert driver for diving in a deadly situation and ultimately saving those who were at risk within a minute.
Hero!! Ms. Teresa Stroble. She evacuated 56 students in under a minute. God bless her. So grateful for her quick action pic.twitter.com/n3PYAHmgKX— Scott Turner (@STSpart5) May 9, 2017
After the incident, the school district lauded her commendable efforts in an online statement.
"We are so thankful for the quick action of the Duncan Fire Department in putting the fire out, and all district administrators who responded and helped with what could have been a very tragic situation.”
"Teresa Stroble, a seven-year veteran driver and teacher assistant for our district, did exactly as she was trained and quickly and calmly evacuated all 56 students from the bus, and got them to a safe location. She is a true hero."
They also notified all parents their kids were safe and that no injuries were reported.
Meanwhile, the Duncan Fire Chief Barry Frost said they haven’t been able to determine the exact cause, but are looking in the passenger area of the bus where there is heater mounted under a seat.