Country hitmaker Jerrod Niemann was performing in Chattanooga on Tuesday to raise money for charity--but, as the saying goes, no good deed goes unpunished. The singer ended up narrowly escaping death when his tour bus exploded in flames that evening.
Niemann, known for his tunes "Lover, Lover" and "Shinin' On Me," was on board the bus hanging out with his father, uncle, and bandmates when he smelled something funny--but he dismissed it as a harmless odor from the bus's heater.
However, fellow musician Lee Brice, who also performed that night, was on the bus with some of his entourage. Due to the fact that Brice's own bus had caught on fire in January, they recognized the smell and urged everyone to get out.
Brice exited the bus and confirmed black smoke was coming out of the vehicle. "So we get everyone off," Niemann told Chattanooga news station WRCB-TV. "And pretty soon we hear this 'Boom!' and we think it's the fuel line, but we look and the whole front windshield was just blown out."
Warning: The video below contains strong language:
Niemann noted to WRCB that he is convinced divine intervention saved him. "If we were on the road driving we would've never smelt it. The smell would've been going down the road. It would've lit up. I would've been in the back room."
He's also baffled by the fact that his friend Brice underwent the very same ordeal just a few short weeks ago. To make the story even more strange, yet another musician whose bus went up in flames recently was scheduled to play that evening: Randy Houser, who lost most of his property in a bus fire one year ago, ended up having to cancel his appearance due to the birth of his son.
Niemann is in good spirits for having endured such a frightening incident, responding cheerfully to quips on his Twitter account Wednesday. When a radio station tweeted, "Is it too soon to crack a joke about marshmallows?" he answered "We are OK so...Haha s'mores anyone?"
Despite Niemann's ordeal, the story does have an ultimately happy ending--in addition to nobody being harmed by the fire, the concert Niemann performed at ended up raising $65,000 for St. Jude Children's Hospital.