AUGUSTA — City officials closed down the Dollar General on Eastern Avenue on Wednesday because of fire hazards and code violations that included items stacked in the aisles and exposed electrical wires in areas where customers could touch them.

The closure is temporary, until the violations can be fixed, according to Augusta Code Enforcement Officer Rob Overton.

The Augusta fire chief inspected the 296 Eastern Ave. store Wednesday morning and found the “amount of product” in the aisles to be a concern, Overton said. An additional sweep of the building’s exterior showed an electrical code violation of exposed wires in several areas of the store that customers could touch.

Overton and the Augusta Fire Department said a customer had complained about the conditions, which led them to inspect the building.

If a customer had a medical emergency or another incident happened at the store, a stretcher or emergency personnel would not be able to get down the aisles, Overton said.

“In speaking with the staff there, the staff also had concerns about the safety of the building,” Overton said. “They complained they are simply not allowed to have the man hours in the store to keep up with the workload, resulting in the product being left in the aisles.”


Overton said chain stores like Dollar General in Augusta often build structures to a particular square footage so that a sprinkler system does not have to be installed, but that there are often too many items stocked to fit on the shelves, especially around the seasonal holidays.

The store was built in 2016.

Overton said the staff in the store were “very cooperative” and willing to make efforts to improve the safety of the store.

“They indicated to me they hope to have the safety concerns addressed within two days so they could reopen,” Overton said. “This will likely result in us having to look at other retailers.”

Dollar General did not respond to a request for comment.

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