Mariemont Mexican grill owner badly burned

Posted at 5:42 PM, Mar 02, 2016

MARIEMONT, Ohio -- The owner of a Mexican restaurant in Mariemont is in the hospital after he suffered third degree burns in a kitchen fire last week.

Luis Hernandes, 34, was in the kitchen of his restaurant when the fire went up in flames. His brother, Santiago, said Luis was making carnitas and mistakenly poured water into a pot with burning oil.

The fire spread quickly through the kitchen and burned the restaurant's owner on his chest, back, arms and the back of his head.

"I ran to him. Pulled him out of the fire," Santiago, 32, said. "He pushed me away."

The restaurant's doors are closed indefinitely, Santiago said. This is the first time the restaurant has closed its doors since its opening four years ago.

"It means a lot for him -- it means a lot for me," Santiago said. "I'm never going to leave my brother behind. I'm going to help him as much as I can."

Customers and Mariemont neighbors started a fundraising page for the restaurant and its owner and his family (he has three children). In a few days, more than $20,000 was raised for the family and the restaurant.

"It means a lot. It means a lot because some times you think that you're by yourself. Sometimes you don't think that a lot of people really care for you. and seeing all means a lot for us."

Luis underwent surgery Monday to repair the damage to his body done by the burns. The surgery went very well, his brother said.

"I certainly hope his injuries heal quickly and everybody gets back on their feet," Santiago said.

You can visit the fundraising page here.