Planet Vegan explosion: Fresno's food truck community comes together to support victims

'It definitely sent shock waves through the food truck community'

Jessica Harrington Image
Tuesday, June 28, 2022
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Fresno Street Eats and local businesses are organizing a fundraiser to help Planet Vegan and one of its owners, who was badly burned in an explosion.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The food truck community is coming together to help support popular food truck Planet Vegan and one of its owners, who was badly burned in an explosion Friday.

"It definitely sent shock waves through the food truck community," said Mike Oz, president of Fresno Street Eats.

Oz says he's been receiving texts and calls all weekend from local food truck owners asking how they can help.

On Friday afternoon, there was an explosion and fire at Planet Vegan's truck and trailer on First and Shaw Avenue.

RELATED: Explosion at popular Fresno food truck injures 2, including minor

Video shows large flames and black smoke billowing into the sky.

One of the co-owners, Joe Ellis, and a minor, were injured in the blast.

Fresno Fire says they're still trying to figure out what led up to the explosion.

"I think a lot of us are waiting to hear updates. 'You know, what happened? How is everybody?'" Oz says.

According to a GoFundMe page posted by Planet Vegan late Sunday night, Ellis has been in critical care since Friday.

It says he has burns to 35% of his body and he will have to go through multiple surgeries.

Oz says he talked to co-owner Mike McElroy who was shaken up from the incident.

"I think more than anything he's worried about his partner, his friend, the people who were hurt," Oz says.

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Now, the food truck community and several local businesses are stepping up to put on a fundraiser this Thursday that will support Ellis and Planet Vegan in their recovery.

"We are going to donate money from every truck, every, whatever place you go to, all the vendor fees. All that stuff is going to go directly to Planet Vegan. One hundred percent of what we make would go straight to them," Oz says.

Food trucks will be set up Thursday evening at The Well at Maple and Nees Ave., Crow & Wolf Brewing Company, and the Kingsburg Farmer's Market.

In addition, Tioga Sequoia and Gazebo Gardens will be donating a portion of their proceeds that night.

"Five places, about 30 food trucks and it's all going to help Planet Vegan just get through this any way they can." Oz said.

Fresno Street Eats will be posting more information about the exact times and food trucks taking part later this week.

You can also donate directly through the GoFundMe page.