Retired couple's travel bus catches fire off I-77 in Iredell County

A retired couple’s top of the line travel bus went up in flames Thursday evening at a rest area off I-77 in Iredell County.

“Every time I give it the gas a lot of smoke was coming out of it, and I noticed something wasn’t right,” Gene Yost said.

Gene and his wife Sara, snowbirds from Pennsylvania were on their way to Florida when smoke started billowing from the back of their travel bus. They pulled over near the Troutman exit in Iredell County at a rest stop to get help Thursday afternoon.

“I thought I’d get outside, and go look at the back and raise the hood up and looked back there, I went back there, and it was on fire,” Gene Yost said.

The back of their $2.5 million home away from home was destroyed by flames, and there’s melted metal all over the trailer they were hauling.

“It wasn’t no time till the whole back’s burned off it,” Gene said.

“It scared me. I thought the whole thing was going to burn down.”

All they could do is watch firefighters, feeling helpless, but grateful.

“We’re just thankful we got out and we got out safe. The only thing you can do is watch it burn.”

The bus has given them many memories, not only spent driving around, but also doing good. The couple travels in the bus working with the Shriners to help children with disabilities.

“That’s our home away from home.”

The couple is staying with friends in the Charlotte area. They don’t know what caused the fire, but they do know it won’t stop them from doing what they love--hitting the road and helping others.

“Things happen,” Gene said.

“And anything man made isn’t perfect,” Sara said.