The store at 412 E. Walton St., Willard, which is across from Willard Fire & Rescue, held its grand re-opening Thursday morning. Family Dollar had a soft opening June 27, having been closed since a Nov. 15 fire in the back room.
Regular customers have been happy to see Family Dollar open again.
“(One man) came up and gave me a big hug and said he missed us. … He was like, ‘I’m so glad you’re open,’” store manager Shelley Hershiser said. “We’ve probably heard it 500 times.”
Willard Mayor Todd Shininger expects Family Dollar to pick up where it left off with regular business.
“They had it before and they will again,” he said. “It’s nice to have it open again.”
Family Dollar was closed for about seven months after the fire.
“They pretty much had to gut the back room. It was remodeled the exact same way,” Hershiser said.
“There was some smoke and soot damage to the front. Most of the damage was contained to the back room.”
The heating and air-conditioning unit in the rear storage area also sustained some damage. Fire Chief Joe Reiderman afterward said it apparently started in the eight-track unit.
Upon arrival, firefighters found heavy smoke throughout the building. The crew had the blaze under control within an hour. Family Dollar was required to have a sanitarian with Huron County Public Health inspect the building due to the smoke damage and since the business sells food items.
Family Dollar originally opened in June 2015.
“I ran the Norwalk store before I came here,” Hershiser said.
District manager Mike Smike praised Hershiser for maintaining a neat, well-stocked and clean store.
“Shelley has worked hard to make it a family store. They get to know our customers and we get to know them,” he said.
Family Dollar, which has six employees, is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.