Posted: Mon, February 13 2012 at 11:01 PM, Updated: Mon, February 13 2012 at 11:13 PM
The bus driver who helped get students to safety when a bus went up in flames was honored Monday.
Lindora Richardson got all six kids off bus No. 295 safely after a fire broke out last week in southeast Charlotte, North Carolina.
Investigators said an electrical malfunction in the dashboard caused the fire.
The Charlotte Fire Department recognized Richardson for her quick thinking.
The bus was coming from Chantilly Montessori Elementary.
"Basically, I'm just blessed for everyone to be safe. That's number one. Number two, I'm really appreciative for the parents saying, 'Thank you.' It's really nice. It's really nice," said Richardson.
Many of the parents of the six students who were on the bus were also at the ceremony for Richardson.
"She's definitely our hero," said parent Tracy Pellin. "Forever. I don't think it's an overstatement to say we owe our kid's lives to her."
Richardson says her training is what kicked in after she noticed smoke pouring from the dashboard.
She immediately made all the students get to the rear of the bus, and then she helped them evacuate.
"I want to tell her, 'Thank you, and I appreciate it,' because it could have been really, really bad," said fourth grader Tashona Dean, who was on the bus.
Richardson normally does not drive the route she was on last Wednesday.
She says she was filling in for another driver.