Buffalo family devastated by food truck fire, incident ruled arson

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – A local family is looking for answers and looking for help after their family-owned food truck was allegedly set on fire intentionally.

The Hernandez family of Buffalo’s Black Rock neighborhood is extremely upset about their food truck being severely damaged and, perhaps, totally destroyed. They contacted News 4’s Call For Action hoping to find the person or people responsible.

The truck has been taken to the city’s impound lot. The family-run business is called La Ventana Del Sabor – which translates to the window of taste.

They have been serving Puerto Rican cuisine in the Black Rock neighborhood for years out of their mother’s house on East Street. They’ve been preparing to launch their own food truck business over the past months.

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But on Friday night, someone allegedly set a small fire inside the food truck, which caused minor damage near a stove. It was then on early Monday morning that Buffalo Fire say the food truck was intentionally set on fire again and severely damaged.

“My heart dropped, it’s his dream, it’s her dream they have a new baby on the way, I’ve cooked for many years you know and I want my son to succeed and this happened it just broke my heart,” said Omira Reyes, Johnathan Hernandez’s mother.

Hernandez says it’s been his girlfriend’s dream of owning a restaurant and were shocked to learn someone would do this.

“We were going to do a grand opening over here in our neighborhood because we were raised born and raised over here, but unfortunately you see what happened,” Hernandez said. “We took Monday off just she was emotional all day you know and we had a lot of people reaching out to us calling us texting us a lot of nice messages and a lot of people told us to come back don’t stop.”

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Hernandez estimates they’ve put more than $50,000 into the food truck and while they do have insurance, the insurance agency has not yet made a determination on their claim. The family was planning a grand opening several weeks from now, but now they’re dealing with the destruction of their future venture.

The family has been using social media to try to spread awareness about what happened. The family hopes people see this story and provide any information or any video of what happened to police.

You can donate to help the Hernandez family through a Go Fund Me here.

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Jeff Preval is an award-winning anchor and reporter who joined the News 4 team in December 2021. See more of his work here.

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