The Las Vegas and Clark County fire departments raised $4,700 for a local nonprofit Thursday morning when they turned up the heat for a spicy burger-eating contest.
Farmer Boys, the restaurant that sponsored the competition, donated $100 to the Firefighters of Southern Nevada Burn Foundation for every burger eaten. Eight firefighters ate 47 Barn Burners, a burger with pepperjack cheese, jalapenos and a fiery sauce.
The four Las Vegas firefighters ate 27 burgers in 20 minutes, winning bragging rights and a trophy to show off at their station. The Clark County team ate 20 burgers.
Money raised in the contest will help send young burn survivors to Camp Beyond the Scars, where many of the camp counselors are firefighters who volunteer.
The teams raised more than enough money to send six children to the camp.
“The chief said it takes seven burgers to send a kid to camp, so that’s what I was going for,” said Las Vegas firefighter Zach Lamboo, who crushed the competition with 10 burgers eaten.
That was more than twice as many burgers as most of the other firefighters.
“I’m definitely feeling it,” Lamboo said after the contest, patting his stomach. “I’m skipping lunch, but I think I’ll still have dinner.”
Staff cleared plates and brought out more burgers and water as the firefighters went through them.
“I was trying to beat my own brain,” said Shane Salmon, a Clark County firefighter. He ate four burgers, devouring the first couple quickly but slowing down near the end.
The Clark County firefighters were good sports and said they were happy just to help raise money for the foundation.
“It’s for a good cause, and that’s perfect to me,” Salmon said.
Vivian Acosta, franchise area manager for Farmer Boys, said, “We like to be able to get involved with our community because, actually, what we’re all about is the people.”