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Family Dollar fire code compliance history shaky in Nye County

Several Family Dollar locations in Nye County have fallen out of compliance with state fire codes over the last several months with the most recent issues occurring in Tonopah.

The Family Dollar location in Tonopah was shut down in early April after falling out of compliance with state fire codes. The location reopened roughly five days after its closure, according to a company spokeswoman. Prior to that, dating back to 2018 and into 2019, Family Dollar has had compliance issues in its Pahrump locations.

Tonopah

The Family Dollar store at 1301 (Erie) Main St. in Tonopah was served a cease and desist notice on April 5 due to compliance issues with state fire code, according to a Nye County spokesman. The Family Dollar location reopened on April 10, according to Kayleigh Painter, manager, investor and media relations for Dollar Tree Inc., the parent company for Family Dollar.

“We worked with the inspectors, and our store is now open,” Painter said in an email on April 10.

Arnold Knightly, a spokesman for Nye County, said the store was still closed in the afternoon of April 9 as the Family Dollar store worked to “correct the overstock issue, which is the main reason for not being and staying in compliance.”

Per the original cease and desist notice, the store was ordered to cease operations until it passed an inspection, according to a correction notice from the Pahrump Regional Planning District Building and Safety Department.

According to the correction notice, a follow-up inspection was scheduled for April 9. The Family Dollar was also given notice to pay inspection fees of over $800 prior to inspectors coming to the Tonopah store to perform an inspection.

According to the cease and desist order, Family Dollar in Tonopah “was in violation of the 2012 International Fire Code and Nevada Administrative Code 477, State Fire Marshal and 2012 International Building Code.”

One of the violations listed on the cease and desist notice was over “maintenance of the means of egress.”

According to the notice, Family Dollar in Tonopah was “in violation of the notice served on Jan. 9, 2019 requiring all means of egress, exits, exit passageways to be cleared of all obstructions and impediments when the building is occupied for fire and life safety in the case of an emergency.”

According to information in the cease and desist order, several additional notices were served between January and early April prior to the store’s closure.

Pahrump

That wasn’t the first issue with Family Dollar locations in Nye County involving compliance issues with state fire codes.

Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue Service Chief Scott Lewis said in an email that “we recently responded to a fire-related incident at the store located at Homestead and Gamebird in Pahrump. Crews found storage issues within the building and the on-site water suppression tanks empty with the supply valves turned off.”

“The issues are being addressed through building and safety, code compliance, and Pahrump Fire Rescue,” Lewis said.

In the summer of 2018, the Family Dollar store at 3971 Homestead Road was shut down by Nye County officials, as was the store at 2891 W. Charleston Park Ave. Both locations were served a cease and desist order in the summer of 2018 by Pahrump Building and Safety, according to a July 27, 2018 report in the Pahrump Valley Times.

The two locations were closed due to “failure to comply with a notice to maintain a 24-hour fire watch,” the report stated.

The report continued on to state that “notice came after it was discovered that multiple 10,000-gallon water tanks—which are used for fire suppression—were empty, a violation of state codes.” The 24-hour fire watch notice was sent to both locations because the tanks were empty.

Both stores later reopened after the tanks were filled, according to the report.

The closures in Pahrump were preceded by an incident that occurred at the Charleston Park Avenue store. Two of the 10,000-gallon water tanks were blown by heavy wind gusts into a residential neighborhood, witnesses stated in the July 27, 2018 report in the Times.

“Area resident Carolyn Holland said the tanks damaged an adjacent home to the Family Dollar on the northeast corner of South Barney Street and West Charleston Park Avenue. Visible damage to the home was apparent,” witnesses said in the Times report. “A second property in the area was also affected, but no damage was reported there.”

Family Dollar

The Family Dollar store in Tonopah operates under its parent company, Dollar Tree Inc., which is headquartered in Virginia, and operated 15,237 stores as of Feb. 2, 2019, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing released at the end of March.

Dollar Tree Inc. operates its stores under three different names: Family Dollar, Dollar Tree and Dollar Tree Canada. The company only contains two reporting segments: Dollar Tree and Family Dollar.

The Family Dollar segment of Dollar Tree Inc. was added in 2015 when the company purchased Family Dollar Store Inc.’s more than 8,200 stores at the time.

Family Dollar is noted as a “neighborhood variety store” that carries items for $10 or less in its financial filings.

Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at jmeehan@pvtimes.com

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