In a split second, with someone’s life on the line, former Eagles long snapper Jon Dorenbos made a crucial decision. A space heater accident started a fire in a Huntington Beach, Calif. restaurant Jan. 19. Co-owner Atsuko “Ana” Nakao was caught in the flames.
“I grabbed my wife’s blanket, I got [Nakao] to the ground and was just like, ‘Hey, help me out, I’ve got you. I’ve got you. You’re gonna be alive. It’s OK,’” Dorenbos told NBC Los Angeles. “I just remember her looking at me and I said, ‘Honey, you’re OK. You’re alive. We did it.’”
Nakao, according to information posted by her husband, Akira, on the restaurant’s Facebook page, was hospitalized for severe burns on her lower body which required surgery. The duo have run the organic vegan restaurant, VegiLicious, together since 2013.
Dorenbos has had an eventful life since leaving the Eagles in 2016, becoming a professional magician and performing on television talent shows. When speaking to NBC Los Angeles, he credited his football experience for his quick response.
“One of the things I’m most thankful for about playing in the NFL — I played 14 years — was just this idea of, under pressure being able to calm down and think.”
Dorenbos played with the Eagles for a decade, beginning in 2006.