Kevin McKay, 41 a school bus driver, passed through a fiery ‘Armageddon’ landscape when he evacuated 22 children and teachers as the Californian wildfires engulfed Paradise, in Butte County.
Smoke poured through the bus windows as McKay tore his shirt into rags and doused them with water for the children to breathe through.
McKay and the teachers from Ponderosa Elementary School on board were considering fleeing the bus, CNN reported, but he instead bravely drove through the California wildfire on to safety.
Mary Ludwig, 50, said ‘the sky was really menacing.’
‘It was very scary. It felt like Armageddon.’
McKay told CNN, ‘It just kind of looked like we’d be headed into Mordor,’ like the fiery world of the evil Sauron from The Lord of the Rings.
Family members had already picked up many of the children from the elementary school as the fire spread throughout northern California, but another 22 children still remained.
McKay’s family were already out of the area as he remained dedicated to his bus driving job, which he had only taken three months ago.
Smoke was filling the lungs of the children as 41-year-old McKay bashed through the gridlocked roads, walled with fire.
One of the
As they made their way, McKay instructed his passengers to grab first aid kits, to look at the emergency exits and prepare for the worst.
Ludwig said he was ‘the bus driver from heaven.’