Boy Scouts escape bus fire, credit training and bravery - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Boy Scouts escape bus fire, credit training and bravery

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CHEROKEE COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

A Cherokee County Boy Scout Troop is crediting its safety training and the bravery of Scout leaders for narrowly escaping a potentially deadly bus fire. It happened Saturday afternoon on Interstate 75 in Bartow County.

"I was scared," said Michael Hofmann, a Scout Leader.

If you look at the pictures from the fire, it's understandable why Hofmann was scared.

"We looked out the mirror and there was fire everywhere," said David Strickland, who was on the bus. "I looked back and there were flames way over the bus and out back. We used a fire extinguisher to put the fire out. It lasted about 10 seconds and the flames came right back."

He said it started with dense smoke in the back of the bus.

"The smoke was probably waist deep," Strickland said.

"When I first saw it, it looked like fog in back," Hofmann said.

Some Scouts as young as 10 were in the back asleep. Yet despite the real danger, all 32 Scouts and three adults escaped unharmed.

And they credit their safety training and the bravery of the oldest Scout leaders like Hofmann.

"I stayed calm because I knew I had to stay calm so panic didn't happen, so the other kids didn't start freaking out," Hofmann said.

"Those kids were brave, they could have been frantic and it would have been a different story. For them to be able to get off that bus in the manor that they did, I am really proud of them," Strickland said. "I was able to stay calm because of the grace of God."

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