Just five months after a fire tore the Four N.I.N.E. Place Thrift Store in North East, owner Vicki Stetson has reopened.
That fire, we now know, was intentionally set. Police have charged a 14 and 16-year-old with arson and criminal mischief, among other charges.
"We didn't know if it was someone who had a grudge against us or if it could happen again," said Stetson. "I'm sad that it was juveniles. I hope they realize what they've done. They've hurt an entire community."
The last time we spoke with Stetson, the building was ruined was completely burnt. Stetson says that its thanks to community members and local businesses they were able to get up and running as quickly as they did.
"We've gotten thousands of articles of merchandise. Hundreds and hundreds of people offered to help, businesses donated. It was just amazing."
For the past 13 years, the thrift store has helped the those in need in North East. But now, when it was their time to be in need of help, the community really stepped up.
"Its not just been the money, the community certainly did step up with that, but its been merchandise, its been donated items, its been donated labor, donated time," said Summer Mobilia with the North East Chamber. "It really was a community project.'"
The North East Community Foundation raised over $62,000, and Stetson says all local contractors were used in to rebuild the store.
Mobilia said she's not surprised by others jumping at the opportunity to lend a hand. She says this is just the kind of thing neighbors in North East do to help each other out.
"It really plays a really important role in the community. We have a lot of families, especially in these times, but we have a lot of families that depend on the services that Four N.I.N.E. offers."
The thrift store reopened their doors on Monday, and Stetson said there over 100 people waiting to get in.