Bus driver helps save student from house fire in southwest Missouri

Stop Sign On School Bus

NEWTON COUNTY, Mo. – An East Newton bus driver’s actions help save the life of a student.

On Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020, Bryan Heilig was driving his afternoon bus route when he saw smoke coming out of a house. A neighbor told Heilig that the fire department had been called and that they had knocked on the door to no answer, according to the school district.

Another student on the bus told Heilig she believed there was a student in the house. School officials say Heilig went to the house and pounded on the door until an East Newton student answered the door. Heilig removed the student from the house.

In a released statement, the school district says “We don’t know the extent of the damage at the home or the nature of the fire, but we are very proud and fortunate that Bryan Heilig took the measure to check the house and remove the student from danger.”

Granby Fire Chief Tim Murphy says crews responded around 3:30 p.m. to a house fire at 305 Commercial in Ritchey, Newton County, Mo.  Firefighters arrived to the 2-story home with smoke coming from the chimney.  They entered the home through 2nd story and found fire in the attic. Crews were able to contain the fire within 20 minutes of arriving.  Chief Murphy says the cause of the fire is electrical, due to faulty wiring.