The Liberty County Fire Marshal’s Office closed the Dollar General store in Hardin yesterday afternoon after it found “several violations,” according to Asst. Fire Marshal and Hardin Fire Chief Craig Powell.
“We did an inspection back in August after we received a complaint from a citizen regarding the aisles being blocked to wheelchairs. They were not ADA (American Disabilities Act) compliant,” Powell said.
During the inspection, the Fire Marshal’s Office also reportedly found several other violations such as the back door and emergency exits blocked by merchandise and debris and the fire extinguishers also inaccessible due to overcrowding of merchandise, Powell said.
“The only fire extinguisher that was accessible was the one behind the sales counter,” he said.
Powell said the store was given an opportunity to fix the violations but they were still found to not be in compliance this week and were forced to close.
“They were told to close the doors until the problems are resolved. They will have to file for a new certificate of occupancy and pass another inspection before they can reopen,” Powell said.
Powell and Fire Marshal Bill Hergemueller know the dangers of fire inside a general merchandise store like Dollar General. In August 2018, the Dollar General store in Tarkington was destroyed by fire. Both Powell and Hergemueller battled that blaze.