Revealed: The hero bus driver who helped motorist tackle car fire

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A Lothian buses driver has been praised for his selfless actions after giving his fire extinguisher to a motorist whose car had burst into flames.

Chris Castle was driving the number 38 bus along Cluny Gardens at around 6.30pm on Monday when up ahead he saw flames coming from the bonnet of a BMW X3.

Christopher Castle stepped in with fire extinguisher to help beemer driver

Christopher Castle stepped in with fire extinguisher to help beemer driver

The 31-year-old was about to get out of his cabin when a man, understood to be the car’s owner, pleaded for help after his own extinguisher had run out.

Without thinking twice, Chris pulled the bus over a safe distance away from the blaze and located the extinguisher to help tackle the fire.

He said: “It was just before the traffic lights and I saw the car on fire. The man was very upset and anxious and so I decided to help him out.

“I had around 15 people on the bus and I didn’t ask them about it I just did it.

Image of the blaze

Image of the blaze

“There were flames coming from the car bonnet and I was worried about the safety of people.”

While the man began tackling the fire once again, Chris started directing traffic with a number of passing drivers getting dangerously close to the burning car.

The fire appeared to have been put out after the bus’s fire extinguisher was emptied.

But minutes later the whole vehicle burst into flames with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service arriving to extinguish the blaze.

It was a lively start to his late shift after only clocking on at 5.05pm but the modest father of two insists he only did what anyone else would do.

He said: “The car was engulfed with flames and turned into a big fireball.

“The firefighters are the real heroes in this. They turned up just minutes after the car burst into flames and had it out straight away. They were very prompt and did a great job.

“I just put myself in the car owner’s shoes and I’d like to think if it was me that someone would help if I needed it.”

Due to Lothian not allowing buses to operate with customers without a working fire extinguisher, Chris and his passengers waited for another bus to arrive from the depot so they could continue their journey to Granton.

Taking to social media, passenger Matt Ayling tweeted: “I would like to praise the driver of bus 125 route 38 who gave his fire extinguisher to a member of the public whose BMW went up in flames.”

He also shared two images, one showing the extinguisher in use, and the other when the extinguisher ran out.

Chris added: “Everyone was in shock as it’s something you don’t expect to see happen. I’ve been working as a Lothian driver for eight years and never come across anything like it. I apologised to the passengers for being delayed in their journey but they all seemed fine about it. I’m just glad I was able to help.”