Hero driver Peter Smith, of Orbit Coaches, in Ellistown, leads students to safety from burning bus
A bus driver has been praised for keeping a cool head after a coach carrying 28 students burst into flames in a country lane.
Peter Smith led the teenagers to safety, then went back on to the blazing bus to ensure everyone was off it during the incident on Monday in Atterton Lane, Witherley.
His boss, Lee Chapman, director of Orbit Coaches, of Ellistown, said: "Peter is a hero. He acted coolly and calmly and led everyone to safety, in accordance with his training.
"It could have been a lot more serious because the fire soon took hold and the bus was gutted."
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Peter, a father-of-four who also has two foster children, said he was just doing his job.
The 48-year-old, from Thurnby Lodge, Leicester, said: "I don't know what all the fuss is about.
"I did what I was supposed to do in the circumstances. I did go back on to the bus when it was on fire and full of smoke.
"I did that because I am a father myself and would not want anyone to be left on. I had to do another search to make completely sure all the children were off."
Mr Smith's coach was carrying 28 students bound for Market Bosworth High School and Bosworth Academy.
Mr Chapman said: "The bus had picked up students up from several villages and was heading to Market Bosworth. Peter heard a warning buzzer sound at about 7.30am and stopped the bus to investigate.
"When he got to the back of the bus, where the engine was, he could see smoke coming from that compartment.
"He calmly got everyone off and walked them to a safe distance. He then dialled 999 and called to tell us.
"We sent a replacement bus while the fire service attended. All the students were taken on to their schools, albeit a bit late."
Fire crews from Hinckley and Atherstone, in Warwickshire, put out the burning vehicle.
Bosworth Academy principal Chris Parkinson said: "The driver commended our students for their impeccable behaviour throughout the incident."