MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Students in Madison County experienced a scary situation when their school bus caught fire on Thursday afternoon.
Bus #222 caught fire at the Lexington Road overpass above I-75. The bus was transporting students from B. Michael Caudill Middle School and Madison Central High School home from school.
Officials with Madison County Schools say there were 35 children on the bus at the time. All of them safely exited the bus. School leaders say the driver stopped the bus at the first sign of smoke and evacuated the bus.
"So they just listened to the driver. The driver said 'Get in line single file. This is what we're gonna do. Let's file out,'" said Assistant Superintendent Randy Neeley. "They went over the guardrail to get away from the issue and the bus's river came back and took the fire extinguisher and got settled the fire down and after that the fire department was here and they took over."
Amber Isaacs says she was on the bus when it caught fire. She is a student at Madison Central High School.
"We was on the bypass and we all of a sudden smelled this weird smell and we looked towards the back and seen a little bit of white smoke and then all the other kids turned around because they smelled it too," Isaacs said, "Everybody was just grabbing their stuff, papers was flying. We was trying to get out as fast as we could."
Isaacs as well as school leaders are describing the bus driver as a hero.
"While the flames was being brought up from the back of the bus she went all the way to the back to make sure no student was back there and didn't even bother to grab her stuff. she just thought of us before her," Isaacs said.
"You never know how people are going to react in a tough situation and she reacted as well as could ever be imagined," Neeley said.
The school system sent another bus to continue the route.
The fire caused extensive damage to the bus. Officials think the fire started in the engine.