At 8:29 a.m. on Aug. 3, sirens could be heard throughout the town of Afton. The food trucks had been getting ready to start the day, when employees at the Cowboy Cookin’ Kitchen and Catering truck went to light the pilot light and warm up the grill, according to Afton Police Chief Jason Romberg. Suddenly, there was a loud pop and flames erupted from the food truck. Preliminary investigations indicates a propane leak that caught on fire when they lit the pilot light. Emergency services and volunteers sprang into action to help save the three young employees inside. When Chief Romberg arrived on site, all he saw were billows of smoke and flames coming from the food truck.
Rikki Rogers, co-owner of Short Stop Tacos, was just one food truck down from Cowboy Cookin’ when the truck caught on fire. She was one of many who helped during the fire.
“I’m just glad we were here early to help,” Rogers said. “We, and a couple other food trucks, were focused on trying to help calm the burn victims down and keep the fire at bay until the fire department got there.”
Chief Romberg said the fire department had the blaze out in minutes, but the damage was already done. The three employees, one adult and two teenagers, were all rushed to the hospital with severe burns, according to Chief Romberg. Two of the individuals were flown out of state to different facilities in order to be treated, Chief Romberg said. The third was treated at the hospital and released, according to Chief Romberg.
In order to help the victims of the accident, many of the food trucks remaining at the fair decided to donate their tips from the week to them, according to a Facebook post from the Cedar Creek Grill.
“It is something we will never forget or unsee.” Rogers said. “All of us just hope that the kids are able to pull through this.”