Hanford celebrates rebirth of historic building following arson

HANFORD, Calif. (KFSN) -- An historic Hanford building that was destroyed by an arson fire in 2012 is now getting a new start. The owners say they've worked tirelessly to have the 121-year-old landmark rebuilt.

Dozens of people crammed into a storefront in the new Vendome building Saturday. Many of the attendees were in awe of the newly-recreated building that was burned down in 2012. The event, held by the family who owns the building, officially kicked off the grand opening of four new businesses and future second-floor apartments.

"Downtown Hanford is wonderful already, and we're just excited to maybe take it up just a little bit, take it up another notch, and have another reason for people to come visit us," said Diane Sharp Johnson, daughter of the Vendome building's owner.

One of those businesses is Lather to Lace -- a boutique that sells fine soaps and unique items. Katye Fredieu says her goal as a business owner is to help revitalize her city.

"We're going to do our part to bring in more businesses, bring in more foot traffic and hopefully revitalize this beautiful place," she said.

It's been a long and stressful road for the Sharp family to rebuild the century-old structure from the ground up. But on this day, all of that hard work is paying off in a big way.

"We've had overwhelming support. My parents, cards, prayers, well wishes through this whole process, so it's the best of small-town living," said Sharp Johnson.

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