A beloved Huntington Beach restaurant owner is struggling to walk again after a horrific accident involving a portable heater left her legs severely burned.
Without a quick witness, she might not have survived.
The Orange County restaurant, Vegilicious, remained closed Friday night.
The happy smiles of owners Akira and Ana Nakao were visible on the GoFundMe flyer posted on the door.
Ana is recovering from a second surgery after the horrific accident left her body engulfed in flames.
Ana’s husband says she has third degree burns on most of her legs.
He says she bought a portable heater for their patio because she wanted their outdoor diners to be warm.
Somehow, last Wednesday evening, as Ana walked past the radiator, her clothes caught fire.
“Fortunately, some people nearby brought a blanket, covered it, and finally put out the fire,” Akira said.
That person dining next door was none other than Jon Dorenbos, former NFL player, magician and America’s Got Talent finalist, who had a blanket because his wife was cold.
“You will never forget that scream,” Dorenbos said.
“I grabbed my wife’s blanket, put her on the ground and was like, ‘Okay, I got you, you’re going to be alive, you’re fine,'” Dorenbos said. “I remember she was looking at me and I said, ‘You’re fine, you’re alive, we did it,'” Dorenbos said.
Dorenbos says this story isn’t about him, he says he’s just happy to be in the right place at the right time.
“One of the things I’m most grateful for playing in the NFL is just that idea of being under pressure, being able to calm down and reflect,” Dorenbos said.
Ana has a long road to recovery, but she is determined to return to the restaurant she loves.
“Although she is in pain, her spirit is still strong. She is passionate about recovering and serving customers again,” Akira said.
The couple only have limited insurance, and now medical bills are likely in the millions.
But without the quick thinking of a magician, an athlete, and now a hero, she might not have survived.
“The magic of the world, we’re here for each other, we support each other, we love everyone, we all serve, try to make this word a better place,” Dorenbos said.