No Students Hurt After Clarksville Bus Catches Fire

Posted at 8:06 AM, Nov 02, 2017

No students were injured after a Clarksville-Montgomery County school bus caught fire Thursday morning.  

Officials said bus 01-104 was picking up Montgomery Central Middle and High Schools students when it caught fire.

They said bus driver, Brittany Sigears, immediately did as she was trained to do and began evacuating the bus. None of the 20 students on board were hurt.

“We take pride in the safety training and protocols we have in place and commend Ms. Sigears for her conscientiousness in protecting our students,” said Schools Director Millard House II.

The bus was a substitute for bus 806, which had been damaged the day before after hitting a deer.

The students were transferred to another bus and were taken to their schools.

Sigears said she's been driving for six and a half years, but she's never encountered a fire. She credited her bus training and the students' willingness to help. 

"My students did an amazing job when you are in a situation like that and it's scary just don't know what you're going to do but they did amazing," she said.

"The only way I can describe it, it was like a haze and then I realize we really do need to get off," Sigears recalled.  

Sigears wouldn't take all the credit for removing everyone from the bus.

"It wasn’t just me, it was the students and it was also the transportation and our supervisors, trainers. The things they taught us it was all of that combined," she said.

Tennessee Highway Patrol and CMCSS Transportation staff were investigating the cause of the fire, but it was believed to be electrical. The bus was a total loss.

Reports stated the district has 31 buses like this one, a 2001 Bluebird bus, and they have now been in the process of checking them all to make sure this doesn't happen again. They added this bus was inspected about a month ago and passed that inspection.

Other districts with this model of school bus have also been contacted by investigators to make sure they are aware and inspect their buses.