Altavista Bank Re-Opens After Fire

Altavista, VA - The First National Bank officially reopened Monday morning, after the old building caught fire last April.

The locals say have been looking forward to this day, and it showed.

The April fire was big and forced the bank to knock the old building down and rebuild.

Employees say it feels like they have a home again.

Loyal customers gave Vista branch employees quite a warm welcome on opening day.

I'm glad to see them back open, because I know more people down here," said Jeffrey Ellis.

Some even brought bank employees flowers.

Cheria Taylor has been a part of the First National Bank family for 10 years. She was at the bank when a bush caught fire outside the building.

"It was like boom, eight minutes grab your money put the money up. Let's get out of here. It was really scary," Taylor said.

A fire marshal deemed the building a complete loss.

The new building has a few upgrades, including a larger lobby and a drive thru ATM. To save on energy, they added motion activated lights.

"We're going green. Not with just the money but the lights, Taylor said.

A plaque dedicated to employees that witnessed the fire sits near the door of the new building. Bricks from the original building frame it.

"Don't miss a beat, gotta take care of your customers and take care of our community," Romonda Davis, E-Commerce Sales Officer, said.

"We went from a tragedy to a blessing, and it's wonderful. I'm just really excited to be here," said Taylor.

Investigators say a mulch fire sparked the flames that engulfed the bank.