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After bus fire, a warm welcome back for driver, Council Rock students


A school bus driver is being called a hero this week after he safely evacuated three dozen Wrightstown Elementary School students from a burning vehicle on March 22.

Newtown Township Police and Council Rock School District officials were on hand Monday morning to greet students as they exited Arqam Ali’s bus.

Superintendent Andy Sanko thanked Ali and addressed the children, saying “I know you had some unexpected things happen on Friday, and we are so very proud of you for the way you exited the bus and took care of each other.”

On Friday, Newtown Township Police responded to an 8:47 a.m. report of a school bus on fire along Penns Park Road in Wrightstown. Thirty-six students and a driver were on board.

District officials said Ali, who works for Durham School Services, safely evacuated the students. He then boarded the burning bus twice more just to make sure it was empty. No one was hurt.

A second school bus was dispatched to the scene to take the students the rest of the way to school.

The fire is still under investigation by the Lingohocken Fire Department and the Newtown Township Police Department. At least preliminarily, it does not appear to be suspicious, authorities said.

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