BOSCOBEL - After months of complaints, Boscobel’s Dollar General was temporarily shut down by the Fire Chief for safety hazards last week.
“I got a lot of complaints,” Mayor Brenda Kalish reported. “They said that you would go in there and you couldn’t get down half the aisles at all because they had them completely full of stock. People would go in there with a walker, and they couldn’t get through,” Kalish said. “The aisles that weren’t blocked weren’t stocked. They said the store was so filthy that the floors were sticky when you walked on them.”
Fire Chief Hershel Marks said that when he went to investigate the complaints, he was told that the store was short-staffed and had no manager.
“There was a lot of over-stock blocking the aisles,” he said. “If there were a fire, someone could get trapped easily. It’s a safety issue.”
Boscobel uses private contractors to conduct certified fire inspections. Marks asked one of them, Gary Dewitt, to visit the store on October 11 in conjunction with other scheduled inspections in the city. Dewitt’s opinion was that the store be closed immediately.
“At that point it was a major fire hazard. Two aisles were completely filled up with stock,” said Marks. “I’d be hesitant to even send trained firefighters in there because they might get trapped, much less someone elderly with a cane.”
By Sunday, the store had been cleared enough to re-open with limited hours of 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. A visit on Tuesday morning found all aisles passable, with over-stock piled on rolling carts along many of the rows. Several employees were working to get the stock onto the shelves.Store employees referred the Dial to corporate communications, who issued a statement by email: “Our Boscobel store at 710 Elm Street was closed last week to address store standards and is now open. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused our customers.”