The Thrifty Irishman Thrift Store — Demolition concluding — Suspect is sentenced — Toy and Coat Drive is planned

Crews began final demolition of The Thrifty Irishman Thrift Store on Monday morning, Sept. 16th. / Photo: T. Lineman / Juniata News

Annual Tradition Continues on Thanksgiving Weekend

    Following the devastating fire that completely destroyed The Thrifty Irishman Thrift Store’s massive building at 2226 Butler Street earlier this year on April 7th, owner Robert McCormac vowed to reopen.  

    On Monday morning, September 16th, the final phase of demolition began to tear down the remaining walls, and he reiterated that the store will reopen.

    McCormac told the Juniata News that he’s shooting to partially reopen by Thanksgiving of this year. Regardless of making that goal or not, he plans to continue an annual tradition at The Thrifty Irishman.

    “Unequivocally, we will have our Coat and Toy Give-aways,” he said.

    The give-aways have been conducted each year since McCormac opened The Thrifty Irishman in 2013 on Cedar Street in Port Richmond. The tradition continued in 2016 when he moved to Butler Street across from the Walmart shopping center. The site sits next to the new Lidl grocery store that’s close to being completed.

    “We’re looking forward to serving our customers again!”

   Joseph Wolbert, who was charged with setting the fire, pleaded guilty to the arson charge on Tuesday and was sentenced to 8-16 years in prison.

   Wolbert has been ordered to pay $250,000 in restitution of the estimated $2 million worth of damage. McCormac is requesting that any restitution that Wolbert pays go directly toward scholarships for children of fallen and disabled firefighters. On April 7th, over 150 firefighters put themselves in harm’s way to control and extinguish the blaze.

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