No one is injured after a food truck fire at The Bite in Tumalo. The flames totaled The Rogue Chef’s food truck, a fan favorite since 2016.
A terrifying sight Sunday evening for the owners of The Rogue Chef, a grease fire at their popular food truck in Tumalo. Both were away from the property when they received news of their food truck in flames.
“I can see on the security camera that we have just huge plumes of smoke and fire from the inside of the trailer,” Meagan Pena said. “I knew it wasn’t good.”
Pena eventually arrived, finding her employees doing anything they could to save the truck.
“Our manager, Kanaan, was really brave and tried his best to get it out, but it wasn’t possible,” Meagan Pena said. “We’re just glad that everybody’s okay.”
General Manager Kanaan Marcelino was working at the time; Owner Stefan Pena recalled Marcelino’s battle before firefighters arrived.
“He grabbed a ladder, the tips got burned off, then he went up there and was trying to actually put it out, and it just reignited,” Stefan Pena said. “Then it just started falling liquid metal into the trailer and ultimately onto the grill.”
Marcelino said he did his best to keep cool throughout the situation.
“A little terrifying that you think, ‘oh, it’s out!’ and then it just kicks right back on,” he said. “There was a point where I knew it was just waiting for fire department was the only thing we could do.”
Bend Fire and Rescue declared the cart a total loss, estimating damages at $100,000.
“You think it would happen in the middle of summer when it’s 100 degrees out and it was like 60 degrees,” Stefan Pena said. ” Not a hot day at all.”
The Rogue Chef says they plan to re-open Tuesday morning with their full menu.
“We’ll pull in our second trailer into (The Bite) so we can keep our employees working and keep providing our customers what they expect,” Meagan Pena said.
That secondary trailer is usually parked down the street serving breakfast burritos. The Rogue Chef’s burritos and burgers will be available now at The Bite beginning Tuesday morning.
Bend Fire and Rescue said calls about the fire at The Bite food cart lot came in around 3:11 p.m. Firefighters arrived to find flames coming through the roof of the Rogue Chef cart. The fire was quickly knocked down by firefighters.
Investigators said the fire started in the ductwork of the kitchen hood due to an accumulation of grease. Although the hood had a suppression system, the fire started above the level of that system.
Firefighters remind everyone to help prevent kitchen fires by keeping combustibles away from hot surfaces, cleaning surfaces regularly to prevent grease accumulation and to never pour water on a grease fire.