Michael Harewood is a hero in the eyes of 15 passengers who were travelling on board a state owned Transport Board bus from Oistins to Speighstown early this morning.
Facing a possible disaster after the vehicle caught fire at Porters, St James, Harewood remained calm and ensured his passengers disembarked safely.
When Barbados TODAY visited the scene, Harewood, a driver for the past 27 years, explained how he put his training in firefighting into practice in order to prevent a catastrophe.
“I stopped at the bus pole and some passengers in the bus alerted me that there was smoke coming from the back of the bus.
“I was trained in firefighting so certain situations we know full well what to do to ensure that passengers don’t panic. My first thought was to just get the people off the bus and try to find out where the fire was coming from,” the bus driver said.
“Seeing that the people were out of the bus everyone thanked me for getting out safely. People weren’t rushing or panicking, everyone disembarked the bus in an orderly manner,” he said.
Having ensured that his passengers were safe, Harewood switched his attention to putting out the fire.
However, just when he thought things were under control, the bus burst into flames, he said.
“As soon as I got the passengers out off the bus I got out, took the fire extinguisher, and the fire was out to some extent. And then it exploded and it was engulfed in flames after that, but no one was hurt. Only two persons complained for smoke inhalation,” he explained
The 59-year-old driver told Barbados TODAY he was surprised that the bus went up in flames on his first trip of the day after all seemed fine when he carried out his routine check before leaving Oistins.
“I drove the bus from Oistins all the way here and the ride was great. Even when we left Holetown nothing was wrong, it was working as normal. But I don’t know what happened, but the bus just burnt like that,” Harewood reported.