PORTLAND – A bus carrying the junior varsity football team for Central Catholic High School caught on fire on Highway 26 westbound near the Jefferson Street on-ramp Thursday evening.
Bus driver Jodi Fritz said she heard a couple of explosions in the rear of the bus and saw fire coming out of the sides.
"We pulled over and evacuated everybody," she said. "I just told them, 'We're on fire,' and, 'Get out,' and they did."
Fritz said they tried to put the fire out with extinguishers. But it was too big, so she called for help.
Portland Fire & Rescue crews responded at about 5 p.m. After fighting through traffic congestion and working to find a nearby water supply, they soon doused the flames.
Players and coaches stood in the pouring rain until the fire was out. Then they walked to downtown Portland and took a bus back to school.
There were no reports of injuries.
The bus was taking the team to play Sheldon High School at Hillsboro Stadium. The game was scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. It was canceled after the fire.