Sixteen students on board a school bus when it caught fire west of Prince Albert escaped unharmed, thanks to the efforts of the driver and two students.

“He noticed a smell that smelled like burning oil, so when he pulled over some of the light smoke started to come out underneath of it, at which point he evacuated the students and then assessed that,” Prince Albert Fire Department Chief Jason Everitt said.

“He looked after the kids first and then tried to deal with the fire after that, so huge kudos and appreciation to the driver.”

The fire broke out in the bus’s engine compartment around 8:13 a.m. Friday on a private driveway near McDonald Road. Flames started as a result of a mechanical issue, according to the fire department.

The driver, Mark Jenkins, told CTV News he’s thankful for the two high school students who helped him in what was a scary situation. The pair helped Jenkins get the younger students off the bus.

According to the fire department, the bus, which was destroyed in the blaze, was engulfed in flames when crews arrived.

The students were transported to school in another bus.