Get Out Alive: OK Firefighters Offer Advice On Escaping Burning Bus

Monday, November 10th 2014, 9:30 am
By: News 9

A massive fire torched a tour bus along the Turner Turnpike Sunday night between Wellston and Chandler. The good news is everyone made it out alive.

11/10/2014 Related Story: Tour Bus Catches Fire On Turner Turnpike Sunday Night

The bad news -- we keep seeing more and more of these buses go up in flames. We have been working on a project to show you how to escape a burning bus.

We know so many of you are putting students on a school bus and that's where we begin this week's survival guide.  

School bus and charter bus fires are reported all over the country. We want to make sure if this happens here in Oklahoma, children will be able to escape. So we teamed up with local firefighters who showed us what to do if you or your kids are ever trapped on a burning school or charter bus.

Within seconds of boarding a bus, our fire had taken off, and I learned real quickly how critical it is to get low.

Windows are blowing out from the heat. Lesson learned. When a fire starts in the back of a bus, kids need to get low, head to the front, and stay calm, because there is no room for panic in this narrow space.

One of the worst international fires happened on a Pakistani bus. Sixteen children perished.

The most common place for fire and the one that concerns firefighters most -- the front of a bus. So we torched the engine to teach students black smoke coming from the front is a menacing threat that can rival any crash. So in this case, kids need to take control, pop the hatch and get out the back.

Lawton, Oklahoma, students got out of a charter fire because their driver knew exactly what to do, especially since the fire started in the middle of the night when most of the kids were asleep.

We appreciate the firefighters who jumped at the chance to help us with this project with scores of Oklahoma children riding school buses and thousands traveling extensive miles by charter. We hope you'll show this report to your family, so our children can get out alive.

Thank you Eastern Oklahoma Career Tech for helping us. We dug into the safety records of all charter buses being used in Oklahoma City and Norman, and all have good ratings.

If you'd like to check the records in your district, you'll need the name and department of transportation number, and click on this link. Also the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has information on its web site.

Tuesday morning, we will show you the stunning results as we go inside a local home to see if smoke detectors really do wake up children in the middle of the night. And Wednesday morning, we will feature some holiday dangers, including how quickly a Christmas tree can go up in flames.

We'll also put you on the front line of a flashover. Firefighters call it the beast.