PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Smoke billowed through the roof of Waltmire Pharmacy in Spring Garden in the early morning hours of July 8. All appeared lost.

But seven months later, long-time customers turned out in force, as Don Waltmire cut the ribbon at a bright new pharmacy, built on the very same spot.

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There were hugs all around, as the pharmacy celebrated its 30th anniversary.

At the time of the fire, the owner’s primary concern was for his customers.

“My first thought was, I know all the prescriptions I filled that night,” he recalls. “I thought, how are they going to get their prescriptions?”

His second thought: don’t give up.

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“The only thing I can do now is to rebuild, because I was not going to let an arson tell me when to walk away from my store,” he said.

Surveillance video revealed the fire was set by two intruders. Waltmire says no one has been arrested in the arson fire. But he added that a KDKA Crime Stoppers segment has helped police narrow the list of suspects.

Meanwhile, this was a day to celebrate.

Don Waltmire will retire the end of the month, but new owner Fred DePasquale plans to keep things as they were. Even the name will stay the same.

“It just does my heart good,” Waltmire says. “It just makes me feel good. And I know for sure that I made the best decision to rebuild.”

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