TULSA - Their was a mixture of relief and exhaustion on the faces of the adults, and of disappointment and excitement on those of the children as they told their story early Thursday morning at a Catoosa truck stop.
About a dozen kids, ages 8-12, were on their way from Lawton to Louisville, Kentucky to take part in the National Archery Championships.
They qualified by taking second in their regional tournament and sixth in the state, and they felt they had a shot at bringing home a trophy.
But their tour bus caught fire on the Creek Turnpike in Broken Arrow, and just like that the trip was over.
They lost all their gear, all their luggage, and their hopes to compete.
"It's okay," 8-year-old Aleah told KRMG when talking about her lost equipment. "We can always get new ones."
Even the youngest among them understood they had escaped a possible disaster -- no one received so much as a scratch.
"We had to go up a steep mountain to get away from the fire," she said. "We saw almost the whole bus was almost on fire, so we had to go farther away from the bus 'cause if the tires exploded they could've went near us."
"I woke up and I smelled smoke, and people were saying 'don't get off it's fine,'" Aleah's teammate Thai told KRMG. "But then somebody said 'get off! get off! there's fire!"
Asked what he was thinking at the time, he said "Our stuff was gone, we couldn't shoot any more."
He said the plan for next year is "Hope we get to go to nationals, and our bus doesn't get caught on fire again."
OHP has not been able to determine yet how the fire started.
The bus was completely destroyed.