Courtney Campbell bought a coffee stand in Everett, Washington, just this past March with big dreams of making it a successful business. Although she worked long hours to make that dream come true, she was still dedicated to her two little girls — only 3 and 8.
But the Saints and Sinners bikini coffee stand will never become the business Courtney dreamed of. On Thursday, Campbell suffered fatal burns when her stand was inundated by an explosion and fire, destroying the business. A nearby propane tank may have contributed.
She died from extensive burns on Monday afternoon, the Seattle Times reported. Courtney was only 25-years-old.
Campbell’s friend, Ben Scott, told KOMO that he visited her in the hospital’s burn unit after she was hurt and felt optimistic that his friend would survive. He sat by Courtney’s bedside and told her about a benefit he was organizing for her daughters. It was planned for Saturday.
“I hope she heard my words, I really do, because it was the last time I was able to talk to her. The world lost a beautiful soul and I lost my best friend. This was not a bikini barista, this was a human being and a mom with two little girls, and a friend.”
Last Thursday around 5 p.m., Campbell’s coffee stand, which is reportedly located in the parking lot of a gas station, caught fire. According to a Seattle Times report at the time, the stand and a nearby vehicle were destroyed. Other news reports described the fire as an explosion.
Video of barista stand burning by the Everett Mall. Courtney Campbell was badly burned, barely made it out pic.twitter.com/4tlti1Fpcr— Henry Rosoff (@HenryKIRO7) January 8, 2016
Surveillance footage revealed that a nearby propane tank contributed to the fire, but officials still don’t know what caused the blaze. A portable heater was found in the stand after the flames were extinguished.
Courtney’s stand was overcome with fire so fast that the young woman was never able to attempt escape, investigators said. However, initial reports from the scene suggested that Campbell was able to walk to a medic’s gurney. That proved untrue.
Officials described Courtney’s burns as extensive and ultimately fatal, and her friends and boyfriend told King 5 on Friday that Campbell’s injuries were very grave. She suffered burns over 80 percent of her body and was in a medically induced coma; investigators had been hoping to speak to her about the incident.
“I want to be able to wave a magic wand, make the burns go away, roll back the clock and get her out of the stand before the fire starts,” said Scott. “I can’t do that, unfortunately. There’s no words.”
Our thoughts are with Courtney Campbell's family. https://t.co/BCGDkLa2bm— KIRO Radio 97.3 FM (@KIRORadio) January 12, 2016
Now, friends are remembering Courtney for her kindness and selflessness. Ben described Campbell as the kind of person who would do anything to help others but rarely asked for any help in return. One day, he recalled, Campbell gave him money so he could help buy groceries for his roommates’ children.
“My roommate and I were short on food one day,” he said. “I just mentioned it in passing, and she took me to the grocery store. She never asked to be paid back.”
And just this past Christmas, Courtney gave him a gift that now, in light of her circumstances, is almost too painful to think about.
“The thing that just really melted my heart was that she gave me a Christmas card that she and her daughters had signed, with two pictures of her little girls in it.”
Courtney’s friends put together a benefit concert on Saturday for her two daughters, and a GoFundMe has been set up to help her family. More than $10,000 has been raised so far.
[Photo via KOMO Screengrab]