Tablet Local

Northwest students flee bus before it catches fire

Ten Northwest High School students were saved Wednesday afternoon by the quick response of a bus driver just before their bus caught fire.

The school bus was traveling south on Interstate 35W near the Keller Hicks Road exit at 4 p.m. when the students and bus driver heard popping noises and saw smoke said, Northwest school district spokeswoman Emily Conklin said.

The driver pulled over and evacuated the students, Conklin said.

“She even left all personal belongings behind,” she said.

Fort Worth firefighters battled the fire for 20 minutes — the bus was completely engulfed in flames — and the blaze took several truckloads of water to put out, said Fort Worth fire Battalion Chief Richard Harrison.

“The firefighters were dumping tank water from one truck to the next — that means there was a significant fire,” Harrison said.

“It looks like just a metal frame now,” he said.

The Fire Department is investigating the cause of the fire, he said.

Conklin said parents either picked up their children at the scene, or another school bus came and got them.

The Northwest school district contracts with Durham School Services for bus service.

Not too long after the fire was put out, firefighters still on scene responded to a multivehicle crash nearby, Harrison said.

The three-car crash happened at 5:23 p.m. near a car dealership just past Golden Triangle Boulevard, MedStar spokesman Matt Zavadsky said.

One person was taken to Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Alliance with injuries that are not life-threatening, he said.