Driver orders evacuation; no injuries reported
WHITTIER – Montebello Bus Lines driver Ronald Santos wasted no time Tuesday after smelling smoke while stopped to pick up passengers at Beverly and Norwalk boulevards in Whittier. “I immediately took everyone off the bus,” said Santos, who ordered the evacuation at about 1:15 p.m., after smelling smoke in the bus’ driver’s compartment. Within three minutes, the bus’ front compartment was roiling in flames. Santos and his passengers stood about 50 feet away, watching as the bus burned. “If I hadn’t gotten off the bus, I wouldn’t be here right now,” he said. It took Los Angeles County firefighters less than 10 minutes to put out the fire, but firefighters spent nearly an hour hosing down the bus’ charred remains, including spraying its seats and plastic parts, said Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Bryan Kidder. The bus was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived, Kidder said. “It was burning from the front to the rear, spreading through the seating material and plastics,” Kidder said. “There were a lot of petroleum products in the seats, so the smoke was dark black.” Montebello Director of Transportation Allan Pollock said the agency was investigating the cause of the fire. Kidder said electrical fires in vehicles are not uncommon. Pollock said he was thankful no one was injured and credited Santos’ quick response for that. “I knew something was wrong,” said Santos. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3026 AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!