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FRISCO (CBS 11 NEWS) – CBS 11 News learned late Tuesday evening that the Frisco Independent School District has pulled several school buses from service after a fire demolished one the vehicles early in the day.
In addition to the one that caught fire the district bought four other buses at the same time. As a safety precaution those four buses will be kept out of service until officials are, “satisfied that the fire was an isolated issue or any issue found is rectified.”
It could have been disastrous… a rolling school bus, with two special ed students onboard, catches fire. But quick actions by the driver and a school monitor helped everyone escape unhurt.
“I still can’t believe it. I’m just glad we got the children off the bus,” said Shylinda Meeks. She is the adult monitor for the two special needs students riding the new bus that Jeremiah Grider drove. Grider was pleased with its new bus smell, until he saw smoke.
“It looked like a puff to begin with and more just kept coming,” Grider said, adding, “I let my monitor [Meeks] know that we’ve got smoke on the dash, we’re going to pull over to the side of the road and evacuate the bus.”
Within about 30 seconds Meeks had led the kids out the back with Grider close behind.
Meeks says the two male students were champs. “They were calm. They did ask questions. I think we all were, once we were off the bus, I think we all were edgy for a minute or two.”
They gasped as wispy white smoke turned into rolling black clouds, then columns of flame. “I became very concerned, I didn’t know if it was going to blow and I just wanted to get the boys as further away from the bus as possible.”
Arriving firefighters had little to save, according to Frisco Fire Department Battalion Chief Shannon Brinten. “The front half of the bus, the front portion of the bus was fully involved at the time.
Grider said, “We were all nervous. It was very nerve-wracking to go through.”
Meeks calls her young students family; she choked up when she came here this afternoon to see their bus again. “I almost cried, I just can’t believe it. It’s hard.”
The bus was brand new, just on its fourth day of use. CBS 11 News contacted the dealership that sold the Bluebird bus to the Frisco ISD. It said it will have people out to inspect as soon as the Frisco Fire Marshal releases it. Bluebird, the manufacturer, did not respond to calls from CBS 11 News.
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