BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. — A bus carrying a Massachusetts college baseball team burst into flames Sunday during a return trip from North Carolina to Boston, officials said.
Fisher College Falcons baseball players were traveling home from a weekend series in North Carolina when the team bus caught fire on Interstate 95 north in Maryland, according to the White Marsh Volunteer Fire Company.
Head coach Scott Dulin said firefighters were able to get everyone off the bus safely and that almost all of the team’s equipment was salvaged.
“When you see the flames, thank God everyone got off, that’s a scary sight when you see that,” said Dulin.
Firefighters responded to the scene of the blaze and extinguished the flames.
Photos shared by the department showed extensive fire damage to the bus. The seats of the bus were heavily charred and blackened, and the roof was totally melted away in the fire.
“I was about to nod off to take a nap and all of a sudden the tire from underneath me, boof, just blew up, and I’m like what the heck was that, I swear it sounded like a gunshot, and everything,” said Ronnie Luke, a pitcher for Fisher College.
Luke says he saw rubber flying and then noticed liquid by his feet.
“I put my shirt over my face because I couldn’t really breathe, I was in the last seat in the back, so I was like, we gotta go, I couldn’t even like talk, so everyone basically grabbed two, three things, a lot of us lost like personal stuff like gloves, couple other things but the main things we got off,” said Luke.
As soon as all 37 people got off the bus, black smoke poured from it, and within minutes it was engulfed in flames.
The baseball team was transported to the department’s headquarters, where they are said to have enjoyed good food and local hospitality while they waited for a new bus to arrive from Boston.
“Instead of having them sit on the side of the road for the next four hours, we really wanted to make sure they were safe because of how dangerous 95 is,” White Marsh Volunteer Firefighter Xavier Owens said. “We brought them over to our station to hang out while they waited for their bus.”
The team and college president say they’re grateful for the White Marsh Volunteer Fire Department who helped bring them to safety.
“First responders are unsung heroes every day,” said Steven Rich, president of Fisher College.
A new bus arrived in just a few hours and the 32 stranded players were on the road again.
The Falcons were in North Carolina to play a four-game series against Montreat College. They ultimately ended up dropping all of the games.
The team returns to action on Thursday with a doubleheader against the University of Maine at Farmington.
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