TAMPA (FOX 13) - Rene Valenzuela's life passion is food.
The Taco Bus franchise creator almost died during the birth of his new venture Rene's Mexican kitchen, when a gas line exploded.
"I got burns to my hands and arms and my face and then I ran out of the trailer my daughter was nearby she saw me and she said roll on the floor because you're on fire. So I rolled on the floor. Some of the gas had penetrated my shirt. The doctor said if you would have passed out you would have burned and died," said Valenzuela.
He spent more than a month in the hospital.
"It's unbelievable how in a flash in a second you see that life is very short," said Valenzuela.
It took months to recover. He just wanted to work again.
"I said if you fix my hands and I can cook and if the food is good, nobody cares what the cook looks like," said Valenzuela.
Today few signs remain of what happened. Protective gloves cover his healing scars. He's now tasting success once again with a flavor for life.
"It's very painful to go through this whole process, but you've got to keep fighting," said Valenzuela.
For more information about Rene's Mexican Kitchen, visit https://www.facebook.com/RenesMexicanKitchen/