JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Passengers aboard a bus for Miami woke to the smell of smoke Sunday, and thanks to the quick thinking of the bus driver, no passengers were harmed.
A family that was on board the bus is safely setting sail on a birthday cruise after the scary start to their trip. The southbound lanes of Interstate 95, near Old St. Augustine Road, were closed for hours after the back of the bus they were on burst into flames.
All 26 passengers were a family heading to Miami for vacation.
Investigators said the bus driver noticed the vehicle's gauges acting irregularly so he pulled over and opened the back of the bus to find a small fire.
The driver evacuated all passengers and attempted to use a fire extinguisher to put out the flames, troopers said.
“He immediately jumped out and checked the engine and came back on and was, like, we need to evacuate now,” a passenger said. “(He) did a great job getting us all off the bus, and was immediately on the phone with 911.”
The flames spread to the rest of the bus, but there were no injuries were reported.
“All of the sudden the flames shot up behind the back of the bus and there was nothing left,” a passenger said. “We did get all our luggage off the bottom of the bus, but most of the stuff in the back burned up completely.”
The passengers on the bus are thanking the bus driver for getting everyone off the bus and to safety.
Another bus was called to take the passengers to their destination in Miami.
The family said hopefully the rest of the trip will be smooth sailing.