Exactly nine months to the day the building was destroyed by fire, a restaurant in the valley is opening back up. Howie's Pizza and Subs will be serving customers once again. YNN's Katie Husband went back to Sayre to talk with the fire chief who responded to the fire at his own business back in November.
SAYRE, Pa. -- It was surreal to Don Howard. The chief of the Waverly Fire Department and owner of Howie's Pizza and Subs got a call in the early hours of the morning on November 20th. His own restaurant was destroyed by flames. Almost nine months later, he invited surrounding fire departments back to the scene.
"They were there when the building went down and I felt that they should've been here for the rising of the building," said Don Howard, owner, Howie's Pizza and Subs.
Monday was the official ribbon cutting for the newly built, newly restored pizza hub. The months of rebuilding, were tough for Howard.
"It was hard to come down here every day because I'm still envisioning this same restaurant that was there before. But as the building walls were going up, the roof was going on the new excitement starting happening, the new feelings started happening and we knew that we were going to be here very soon," said Howard.
Howard and his wife, Peggy, never gave up on their business, which caught the attention of others in the community.
"You got to see their determination but you got to see the strength in them. And I feel blessed as a contractor to be able to work with these types of people in this community and to see how adamant and strong they were to rebuild," said Gary Webster, president of G. Webster Inc.
The building has changed with a 24 foot pizza bar, but the 'old' Howie's is still prominent.
"The recipe is the same, the product that everybody knows and loves all these years, even back in the old days, is still here. We'll never change that," said Howard.
And getting the old Howie's back was certainly a team effort.
"A lot of people got involved in the community helped out, but I think that's a reciprocal of Don and Peggy's commitment to the community and how much they've done for this community," said Webster.
In honor of their hard work and dedication to the community, the mayor of Sayre proclaimed August 20th,Howie's Pizza and Don and Peggy Day.
Tuesday is the official grand opening of the restaurant. Howard says this time around, he was able to hire more workers.