PORTLAND, Ore. -- Fire destroyed Pony Espresso, one of Portland's oldest food truck businesses on Wednesday.
Bruce Lindner opened Pony Espresso 24 years ago and over time, built a large clientele serving the greater Portland area.
“[Businesses] would announce me over the intercom and say, 'coffee truck is here!' and sometimes even before I pull up, everybody's lined up on the steps waiting for me,” said Lindner with a smile.
On Wednesday morning, Lindner said he'd just come home from his morning coffee rounds when the engine in his coffee truck caught fire. The truck was a total loss.
Lindner was devastated, but then friends and customers lined up for him again — this time on social media. They started GoFundMe accounts for Lindner, which amassed more than $21,000 in donations in one day. Lindner said their kindness encouraged him to stay positive.
“By morning I thought… that's what I'm going to do—I'm going to buy a new truck and I'm going to start over!” said Lindner, who hoped to be back in business by June.
The cause of the fire was under investigation but Linder expected insurance would cover most of the damages. He said the donations would give him a head start and couldn't thank his customers enough for their generosity.
“There's almost nothing I can say to express my gratitude,” said Lindner. “Thank you. Thank you.”