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 Romford News Stories

15:00

A talented dramatic company of rising stars is set to perform an original work as part of the world’s biggest youth theatre festival.

This week, Queen’s Theatre’s executive director Mathew Russell picked his top 10 favourite songs.

Yesterday, 12:00

A macabre tale of murder fronted by a barber who uses his snipping skills to deadly effect may not sound like your usual night at the theatre, but it’s music to the ears of a talented theatrical group looking to bring audiences something just a bit different.

Yesterday, 10:00

A fitness firm that operates leisure centres in the borough is celebrating its 30th annual swimathon and encourages people to help it raise vital charity cash.

Fri, 18:00

With World Book Day fast approaching, test your knowledge of some of the globe’s most beloved children’s books.

Fri, 17:00

A British rapper will run a series of school music workshops as a way of showing gratitude for the help he received from mentors.

Fri, 16:05

Pupils were treated to an afternoon of rhyming when an acclaimed poet visited their school to lead an innovative workshop.

Keeping it in the family when trying to set the world alight with music can be a common thing: think The Bee Gees, The Jackson 5, The Beach Boys, The Kinks.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now