Neal McCoy’s tour bus “Old Glory” is the latest to go up in flames in an early morning fire. Luckily, McCoy and all his crew were able to vacate the vehicle before the blaze overtook it, and much of their gear stowed in a separate trailer was also spared. But it is the latest close call involving touring musicians, and fires that could have ended tragically.
The bus caught fire in Mansfield, Louisiana Saturday morning (2-8) while McCoy and his band were en route to a show in Alexandria Saturday night at the Rapides Parish Coliseum. At approximately 7 a.m., Old Glory caught fire, and they pulled off the road and evacuated the vehicle. McCoy has been using the bus with the American flag emblazoned on the side for approximately 13 years, and has a new one on order that is not yet finished. Keeping with a tradition that Neal McCoy has observed for 1,493 consecutive days, he recited the Pledge of Allegiance with the first responders who helped put out the blaze.
The entire episode and aftermath was caught on Facebook Live by McCoy himself, who narrated the scene as the bus went up in flames, and first responders came to the scene (see below). As it was burning, numerous explosions could be heard.
“Everybody’s okay. Physically, we are good. But that is the bus that has taken us a million miles, and it is ugly,” Neal McCoy says while the bus can be seen engulfed in flames. “There’s nothing you can do. That is our lifeline, but we will live on. We’re just grateful everyone is okay and got out safely.”
Neal offered a updated later in the morning. “The bus is a loss, but we may have saved the trailer and some of our equipment. So now we’re trying to get rides to Alexandria, trying to get clothes, and the show will go on.”
The tour bus for Texas band Shane Smith and the Saints caught fire in late November, 2019 just outside of Coleman, TX. Similarly, everyone was able to get out okay, but it was a total loss for the band, including their equipment trailer. In June of 2018, Shenandoah’s tour bus caught fire, and in 2015, a Lady Antebellum tour bus went ablaze. Numerous other stories across music of bus fires have many bands and their fans spooked.
No cause for the Neal McCoy bus fire has been released at this time.