TIME Maryland

School Bus Driver Saves 20 Kids From Fire: ‘I Got My Babies Off That Bus’

"I am a mom of two kids. It's my job to save them"

Seconds after a school bus carrying 20 students burst into flames on Monday in College Park, Maryland, the bus driver opened the door, took off her seatbelt and sprang into action to save their lives.

“I got my babies off that bus,” Reneita Smith told News4.

Smith got each child safely off the bus and still went back onto the burning vehicle to make sure everyone was off.

“I ran back onto the bus to make sure that every seat was clear,” she said about the incident that was reported at 4:45 p.m.

According to the news outlet, neighbor Lucy Kilin ran outside, but there was little she could do.

“This fire was going too fast. I had a little extinguisher,” she said. “It was too late. I couldn’t do anything.”

Bystander Fazlul Kabir posted a picture of the bus and spoke to Smith about her heroic actions.

“I am a mom of two kids. It’s my job to save them” Smith told him, according to his Facebook post.

Adds Smith: “I have people calling me a hero, and I say that I’m just a mom.”

This article originally appeared on People.com

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


YOU BROKE TIME.COM!

Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team