BEND, Ore. – At 2:11 pm on February 11, 2023, Bend Fire & Rescue was dispatched to a reported food cart on fire at The Podski, 536 NW Arizona Avenue. The first unit arrived on scene within 4 minutes of the 911 call, finding smoke coming from inside the wall of the Bigfoot BBQ cart. Crews were able to remove the metal siding of the cart and extinguish the fire, which started behind the cooktop inside the cart. Damage is estimated at $8,000 to the cart and contents.
Upon investigation, it was found that the backsplash behind the cooktop had been installed with a cutout that contained a covered electrical outlet. This cutout exposed the electrical box and adjacent wood and foam insulation to high heat, and permitted an accumulation of grease, leading to the fire.
The new 2022 edition of the Oregon Fire Code will help owners of food carts and other mobile food units reduce their risk from fire by requiring cooking equipment to have kitchen exhaust hoods and fire protection systems as regular brick-and-mortar restaurants do. This change will be phased in over the next three years and provides a level of both fire and life safety for those working inside and around food carts.
For more information on fire and life safety in food carts and other mobile food units, contact your local fire agency. Residents of Bend may call Bend Fire & Rescue at (541) 322-6386.