Community rallies behind NC restauranteur after fire destroys home, food truck

North Carolina news

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) – After a Winston-Salem family lost their food truck and mobile home in a weekend fire, the community is now picking them up.

The fire happened on the 5200 block of Shattalon Drive Saturday morning.

The home and food truck belonged to Luciano Perez, the owner of a popular authentic Mexican restaurant Taqueria Luciano’s.  

“You work hard for something,” Perez said. “You lose everything in five minutes.”

Those few minutes took away his business dream. He started the taco shop back in 2009.  

Perez worked the food truck Friday night. He parked it beside his home like normal at the end of the night.

“I look and everything is off, the gas and everything is looking good,” he said. “Go to bed by 1:30 a.m. and after that my neighbor came to my backdoor and knocked and that’s when it happened.”  

Perez was woken up by neighbors alerting him to the blaze that started inside his food truck around 6 a.m. Saturday.

The flames from the truck spread quickly to his mobile home.

Perez was left without a home and no food truck. He still found the strength to brush off the loss and complete a scheduled catering for a wedding.

He used the kitchen at his restaurant on Reynolda Road to make it happen.  

“My heart was absolutely hurting for my friend when I saw it,” said Precious Ford, a customer at Taqueria Luciano’s. “You lost a lot but you’re going to gain so much more.”

Now, the customers he’s served over the past 12 years are making the difference.  

On Sunday, Ford donated to the family.

“I’m only doing for him what he does for the community anytime there’s something going on you can depend on him to be there,” she said.

Local bars and breweries where Perez normally sells his tacos are also chipping in to help.

Perez told FOX8 the community support keeps his spirits up to move forward.

“I have to do it,” he said. “I like the food truck, I love the food truck. I like talking with the people outside, it’s my passion.” 

Perez told FOX8 the cause of the fire was deemed electrical.  

He plans to get a new food truck after talking with his insurance company to continue serving up authentic Mexican food. 

There is a growing GoFundMe set up to help.

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