The nightmare happened to dozens of passengers trying to get to New York City. They boarded the bus Monday night in Durham and arrived in New York early Wednesday.
The bus broke down twice on the trip and passengers were stranded for hours when a wire in the bus apparently started to burn, and smoke soon started filling the passenger area.
The bus broke down in near Fredericksburg, Va.
A mechanic came to fix it not once, but twice. Eventually a Greyhound bus rescued the tired and drained riders.
"It was hot air and the smoke," said passenger Minnie Taylor. "As soon as we saw the smoke, we just had to get off the bus. That was the main thing."
"I couldn't breathe because I have asthma," said passenger Carlos Gonzalez.
While the riders were stranded, the American Red Cross did step in and provide some shelter. A local restaurant also donated food.