Bus driver called hero after extinguishing fire - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Bus driver called hero after extinguishing fire

(Source: Lexington-Richland School District Five) (Source: Lexington-Richland School District Five)
IRMO, SC (WIS) -

A bus driver from Lexington-Richland School District Five is being called a hero after taking steps to put out a fire at a student's apartment.

Chris Blackwell took notice of the situation on May 15 when he saw his students weren't at their usual location for pick up.

"I saw one of my students going in and out of the apartment with his older brother and trying to reach someone on the phone," Blackwell said. "I asked the students what was wrong. They said that there was a fire in the apartment. So, I got them on the bus, secured my bus … and grabbed the fire extinguisher."

Blackwell went into the apartment and found flames in the kitchen. Using his fatherly instincts and training as a district bus driver, he put the fire out safely.

"The district does a great job preparing us," Blackwell said. "Each year, before the school year starts we have different trainings that we go through. A few years ago the fire department came out and set up different stations, and one of those stations was familiarizing us with the extinguisher and showing us how to use it. So I had the equipment there, and I had the training and just trusted that."

Blackwell, according to Lexington-Richland School District Five spokesperson Katrina Goggins, has waved off any recognition or praise for his actions. However, his bravery has not gone unnoticed.  

"Chris is someone who is always willing to help out, District Five Transportation Coordinator David Weissman said. "So it isn't a surprise to me that he didn't hesitate to act in this type of situation. Chris' calm demeanor and quick action prevented a bad situation from getting much worse.  Without hesitation he entered a burning apartment without any thought of himself and took actions to prevent harm to others. After Chris returned to the bus he simply said ‘the fire is out' and went back to his duties as a bus driver …He's someone you can always count on."

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