Orange County

OC Restaurant Owner Recovering From Third Degree Burns

Had it not been for a quick-thinking witness, she may not have survived.

NBC Universal, Inc.

A beloved Huntington beach restaurant owner is fighting to walk again after a horrifying accident involving a portable heater left her legs severely burned. 

Had it not been for a quick-thinking witness, she may not have survived.

The Orange County eatery, Vegilicious, remained closed Friday night.

The cheery smiles of owners Akira and Ana Nakao could be seen on the GoFundMe flier 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.


Get Los Angeles's latest local news on crime, entertainment, weather, schools, COVID, cost of living and more. Here's your go-to source for today's LA news.

Hello Kitty Cafe Truck to make 2 SoCal stops this month

AT&T data breach: What users should know

Somehow last wednesday night, as Ana passed the heater, her clothing caught fire.  

“Luckily some people next door brought a blanket, and covered it and finally they put out the fire,” Akira said.

That someone dining next door happened to be no other than Jon Dorenbos, former NFL player, magician and America’s Got Talent finalist, who happened to have a blanket because his wife was cold. 

“You’re never going to forget that scream,” Dorenbos said.

“I grabbed my wife’s blanket, I got her to the ground and just was like ‘Okay I got you I got you you’re going to be alive you’re okay," Dorenbos said. "I remember her looking at me and I said he 'You’re ok you’re alive we did it,’” Dorenbos said. 

Dorenbos says this story is not about him, he says he’s just happy he was in the right place, at the right time.

“One of the things I'm most thankful for about playing in the NFL was just this idea of under pressure just being able to calm down and think,” Dorenbos said. 

Ana has a long road to recovery, but she is determined to get back to the restaurant she loves. 

“Although she’s in pain, her mental mind is still strong. She has a heart to recover and serve customers again,” Akira said.

The couple only has limited insurance, and now medical bills are likely in the millions. 

But had it not been for the quick thinking of a magician, athlete, and now hero, she may not have survived. 

“The magic of the world we are there for one another we support one another, we love all we serve all, and try to make this word a better place,” Dorenbos said.

Contact Us