Students make poster calling bus driver 'our superhero' after sc - CBS46 News

Students make poster calling bus driver 'our superhero' after school bus fire

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Teressa Stroble (Source: Superintendent Scott Turner) Teressa Stroble (Source: Superintendent Scott Turner)
Photo of the school bus (Courtesy: Heather Warren) Photo of the school bus (Courtesy: Heather Warren)
Photo of the bus in flames (Source: Kaye Gosnell) Photo of the bus in flames (Source: Kaye Gosnell)
DUNCAN, SC (FOX Carolina) -

A Spartanburg County bus driver is being hailed as a hero after a school bus caught fire on Tuesday morning.

The bus caught fire on Main Street in Duncan near the Stribling Funeral Home just after 7 a.m.

Superintendent Scott Turner with Spartanburg County School District Five tweeted that no one was hurt. Turner said 56 students were on the bus when the fire broke out.

"Bus fire in Duncan. No injuries all safe. Grateful for our driver and firefighters," Turner tweeted.

Turner said he was fearful of the worst when he arrived on scene and saw massive plumes of smoke coming from the bus.

"There was so much black smoke, when I saw it, my heart sank," Turner said.

Witness David Porter said the scene looked like an inferno.

"I heard the screaming and when I came outside it was an inferno and I saw no one. There was literally nobody, not on the street, not on the side of the streets, anywhere. It was just a big bus and an inferno and all the screaming had stopped."

PHOTOS: Viewer photos of school bus fire in Duncan

Melissa Robinette, a spokesperson for the school district, said the bus was carrying students to Duncan Elementary, Beech Springs Intermediate, and then eventually to Byrnes High School.

"From what we've been able to gather initially, two students seated at the rear of the bus noticed the smoke and notified their driver immediately," Robinette said.  "She did exactly as trained, reacted quickly and got all kids off the bus safely.  Luckily, no one was injured."

Superintendent Scott Turner said he was incredibly proud of the bus driver, Teressa Stroble.

"She is our hero today," Turner said of the driver. He said the driver stayed calm, made student safety her first priority, and followed her training.

The students were loaded onto a replacement bus and taken to school.

The school district is investigating the fire.

On Thursday, Stroble spoke to the media about the school bus fire.

School officials also showed a poster made by students at Duncan Elementary honoring Stroble. The poster reads "Ms. Stroble, you are our superhero!"

The bus involved was manufactured in 1995.

According to State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman's 2016 report on the South Carolina School Bus Fleet, 76 percent of the buses that experience "thermal events" are 1995 model year buses. The buses make up 34.5 percent of the state's 5,582 vehicle fleet.

More than half of the thermal events South Carolina buses experienced were found to be caused by wiring/electrical and turbocharger issues.

Spearman's report recommended that the state purchase and install heat sensors and alarms in all buses to have better warnings against thermal events. Carryforward funds were reserved and set aside for the project, which was expected to cost $1,422,900.

"When you drive, there are always gonna be issues that come up but when you see a trend or pattern and it's happening too often that's when the red flag goes up," Spearman said. "I know there's an aversion among many in the Upstate to government spending money but we've got to assure people are safe." 

There has been no word if the bus in the Spartanburg County crash had been equipped with the new sensors and alarms.

Read Spearman's full 2016 bus report:

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