The owners of a home improvement store in Vestal that has been closed since a massive fire hope to reopen the business before spring.

A large wood storage facility at the Home Central site on Stage Road was destroyed by the fast-moving blaze nearly a year ago.

A new warehouse building has been erected next to the existing showroom facility.

A new storage facility has been constructed at the Home Central store on Stage Road. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

Although the fire didn't spread to the retail area on the west end of the Home Central complex, that area sustained significant smoke and water damage.

The showroom area has been renovated and merchandise is being moved in. The storage facility is almost ready for use.

Home Central representatives initially had hoped the Vestal operation could reopen by the beginning of this year. With the rebuilding project is taking longer than anticipated, it's now expected the place could be back in business sometime in mid-March.

The devastating February 13 fire was set by a store employee. 50-year-old Richard Millard of Vestal pleaded guilty to arson in the case. In November, he was sentenced to six years in prison.

Workers are busy preparing for the reopening of the Vestal Home Central store. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com

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