Search

Bus driver and Havering fire crews praised for action during Cranham bus fire

14:00 12 October 2012

The wreckage of the bus on Friday October 5 (photo: John Robinson)

The wreckage of the bus on Friday October 5 (photo: John Robinson)

John Robinson

A Cranham bus driver and local fire crews have been praised for saving lives as first smoke and then fire engulfed a 248 last Friday morning.

Firefighters helped put out the fire on the 248 bus in Front Lane, Cranham, this morning (photo: Paige Walsh)Firefighters helped put out the fire on the 248 bus in Front Lane, Cranham, this morning (photo: Paige Walsh)

Crews from Hornchurch and Harold Hill were called to the blazing vehicle in Front Lane, Cranham, at 8.18. Firefighters said the bus, which was 40 per cent alight when they arrived, had been gutted within half an hour.

As smoke plumed high into the air, the driver ensured everyone was off the bus and safe, while the local fire service battled to bring the inferno under control.

London Ambulance Service confirmed there had been no casualties.

“I was doing a paper round with my friend and we saw the smoke, so we came down to see if anyone needed help,” said Hall Mead pupil Gareth Withers, 15.

A bus caught fire in Front Lane, Cranham, on Friday morning (photo: Gareth Withers)A bus caught fire in Front Lane, Cranham, on Friday morning (photo: Gareth Withers)

“It started off as really big smoke coming out, going 100 foot up – we weren’t sure what it was.

“I was talking to my friend and there was a bang. It had literally just caught fire as we were standing there. I asked if anyone had called the fire brigade.”

A spokesman for Havering police said there appeared to have been an engine failure. Transport for London did not offer comment.

Officers closed roads around Front Lane to deal with the incident.

Cllr Gillian Ford (Cranham, Residents’ Association) was at the scene.

“I spoke to the bus driver and he said he saw smoke within the bus, so he evacuated all the passengers,” she said.

“Within 10 minutes, the bus was up in flames. It went up very quickly, probably because of the fibreglass and the upholstery.

“I think credit needs to go to the driver for evacuating the passengers safely, and to the fire brigade for getting there quickly.”

Bus user Samantha Elliott, who was at the Front Lane stop when the bus began to smoke, echoed Cllr Ford’s praise for the driver.

“I came along as it stated smoking from the front,” she said. “I was thinking maybe we shouldn’t be standing that close to it. As I was standing at the bus stop, smoke started coming out the back of the bus - and I thought, ‘That’s not good.’

“I felt sorry for the bus driver because he kept getting on and off, making sure everyone was away and safe.”

Within minutes of her arrival, a second bus came along and took Samantha to safety.

“It must have been a few minutes after we left that the bus exploded, so it’s a miracle that we weren’t all standing there a few minutes later,” she said.

“I shall never moan about the timing of buses again.”

0 comments

Latest News Stories

A man was found unconscious outside Romford station yesterday.

An investigation has been launched after a man who suffered a blow to the head was found outside Romford station yesterday.

Joseph Kavanagh, 16, of Heather Way, Collier Row, took part in a week long leadership academy at the US Space and Rocket Centre in Huntsville, Alabama

A teenager had the experience of a lifetime at a space and rocket centre in America.

Maureen Plunkett was robbed at an atm in Elm Park on Thursday.
 So many people came to help her after the man got away and she is very very grateful and wants to say thank you to everyone.

A great grandmother was left shaken and angry after she was mugged for her debit card in Elm Park last week.

Yesterday, 12:00
The borough of Havering: Has crime increased or decreased where you live?

The latest crime statistics show the number of sexual offences reported to police in Havering during 2014 increased by 37 per cent on the previous year.

Most read news

News from your area

WW100

Click on the banner above for full coverage of the centenary commemorations of the outbreak of the First World War.

Competitions

Pop on the most stylish eyewear around from Specsavers.

London eyecare specialists Specsavers are offering London24 readers the chance to win a £150 voucher to spend on stylish eyewear in the city.

Two phones. Same phone case. Genius.

To celebrate the launch of the first luxury dual phone case, PearPeel, we are giving away two of the black leather Rocha cases, perfect for holding two iPhone 6 handsets.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Romford Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder