It happened about 3 p.m., at the intersection of Bingham Drive and Bailey Lake Road in Fayetteville.
One student told ABC11 that the bus was making strange noises. He saw smoke coming from the front of the bus, then heard an explosion.
"Big cloud of black smoke," said student Samuel Flores. "Next thing you know, it was on fire."
The students were from 71st Classical Middle School.
When fire crews arrived, they found heavy fire and thick black smoke showing from School Bus 194.
Crews were able to bring the fire under control quickly.
The bus driver, identified as Vaster Robinson, saw some smoke and moved quickly and calmly to get the children off the bus, witnesses said.
Diane Grumelot, transportation director for the school system said "the bus driver was fantastic."
Robinson, who has been driving school buses in Cumberland County since the mid-1990s, took the students to a Food Lion parking lot across the street to wait for help. Another bus arrived to pick up the students.
There were no injuries.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
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