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'She's a superhero': Bus driver saves students from fire

Linda Hornung noticed a peculiar smell from her engine. Minutes later, it was up in flames.

BRYAN, Ohio — Bryan school bus driver Linda Hornung has been transporting students to Four County Career Center for two years now. She says she enjoys the work.

"Usually in the mornings it's pretty quiet," Hornung said. "The afternoons, well, that's a little more hectic, and it's a lot of fun."

Last Thursday would indeed be more hectic for Hornung. The driver was transporting kids when suddenly something didn't seem right.

"There was a different odor in the bus, one I've never smelled before. The lights on my dash all lit up and at that point, I knew something wasn't quite right," Hornung said.

A fire broke out at the front of the bus. Hornung, with the help of a student, quickly got herself and the other students off the bus to safety. 

Minutes later, the front of the bus was engulfed in flames.

Credit: Bryan City Schools

She credits a bus driving behind her for tipping her off to the fire.

"I would've never known that there was a fire under the bus if he hadn't radioed us," Hornung said.

Bryan transportation director Ryan Eberly says a wiring issue may be the cause of the fire. He says he's never seen anything like this in his 20 years in the industry.

"You've had tires blow, engine malfunctions. You've had people side-swiping buses, accidents, that type of thing," Eberly said, "but I've never experienced a bus fire."

Eberly is calling Hornung's actions heroic.

"For Linda to be able to save and protect the other students to make sure they were safe, that just goes above and beyond. She's a superhero, in my opinion," Eberly said.

Hornung says she was in shock by the event and took the next day off, but got right back to work on Monday.

Credit: Bryan City Schools

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