Back door issue closes down Dollar General
The Dollar General store in Superior shut down Thursday morning due to a weather-related safety issue. The building’s back door was only able to open about 2 inches due to heaving of the concrete slab it was built on, according to Battalion Chief Scott Gordon with the Superior Fire Department. The only other entrance to the building, the front door, is an automatic, power-operated door. If the power went out, said Gordon, no one would be able to exit the store.
“We can’t have a building that doesn’t have a second egress, and certainly not if that first egress is battery-operated,” Gordon said.
The problem was brought to the fire department’s attention by the city building inspection office Thursday morning. Dollar General has been great to work with, Gordon said, and the store is in the midst of addressing the problem. Once the back door moves freely again and a fire inspector gives the go-ahead, the store will be able to reopen.
Cold weather can cause concrete slabs to buckle and heave. The fire department had to address a similar problem with its own back door three weeks ago.
“Our door started hitting the slab,” Gordon said. “We went out with a jackhammer and broke the concrete.”
Along with heaving slabs, accumulated snow can also block egress doors. Gordon encouraged business owners to check all egress doors to make sure they open fully. By law, they need to ensure there is a three-foot-wide path leading from business doors to the nearest sidewalk or street.