A Dollar Tree that was badly damaged by an arson fire on Christmas Eve is expected to reopen in time for the upcoming holiday season.
The store on the 1900 block of Wayne Avenue closed after juveniles started a fire inside the business on Dec. 24 last year. Officials say it caused more than $250,000 in damage to the building and its contents.
The store’s closure led to an outpouring of support from local residents who urged its ownership to rebuild because they say the community relies on its low-cost merchandise and food items.
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Following the fire, local citizens posted printed and scribbled messages of appreciation on the store’s entry door.
“Yes, please reopen!” wrote Brian Hoeflich, who lives about eight blocks from the store. “This neighborhood needs you badly!” Multiple notes were written in crayon by children.
Crews have been working on repairing the store for months, and the exterior, front-facing facade has been replaced.
Residents, including Hoeflich, told this newspaper that the Dollar Tree is the cheapest place in the Walnut Hills neighborhood to buy goods.
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Despite considerable fire damage, the property was not a total loss by any means, said Carl Daugherty, Dayton’s zoning administrator.
The owners are creating landscaping along all three frontages that they did not provide before, he said.
The owners are listed as Medford & Associates in Bellbrook. The company did not return repeated requests for comment.