Search

Free 40-page supplement celebrating the Queen’s record reign in this week’s Recorder

On sale September 4

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

10:27
The cast of Brookside Theatre's concert Nights on Broadway, staged in aid of our Fundraise on the First campaign with children's charity First Step. Picture: Brookside Theatre

The energy and soaring vocals of some of our best-loved musicals were strikingly recreated at a charity concert.

09:33
C2C rain at Fenhcurch Street

Train operator c2c has remained the most punctual in the UK, according to latest Network Rail figures.

07:01
Alan Steward and Dr Ed Diggines talking about the vanguard project. Picture: Sandra Rowse

Listening to Alan Steward and Dr Ed Diggines speak, it’s clear they are excited – and very proud – about Havering being chosen for one of eight “vanguard” projects across the country.

Yesterday, 16:23
The Old Bailey

An heir to a multi-million pound nightclub empire unleashed a “barrage of abuse” at his alcoholic father and stabbed him to death as the family fortunes teetered on the brink of collapse, a court heard.

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

Happy viewing!

MyOffers are giving you that chance to win an amazing Samsung 55” Curve HD TV.

Get ready to take in the beautiful sights of London from above!

Are you always seeking unique ways to see your favourite city? This one is for you.

Digital Edition

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


Our trusted business finder