Feb 19, 2015 6:40 PM
14 stores ordered to close due to roof concerns at The Crossings in Newington
NEWINGTON - 14 retail stores were ordered to close late Wednesday by the Newington Fire Dept. in fear of a roof collapse at The Crossings shopping complex.
Many employees and customers still weren't aware of the closure order by early Thursday, but when they arrived they found notices posted on all of the doors that stated the structure had been deemed unsafe.
The fire department was first called to The Crossings by a manager at Barnes & Noble booksellers after a nearly two-foot crack was found in the store's ceiling.
"Some ceiling tiles looked like they were ready to fall out," said Fire Chief Andrew Head.
Authorities then inspected the remaining roofs of other stores, and determined they were unsafe.
"There's a lot of snow," said property manager Alicia Busconi with KeyPoint Partners. "We then have roofing crews here to keep on continually start removing the snow."
Fire officials said the majority of concern was with snow at the front of the complex.
"The front of the building, where they put the big signs up," said Chief Head. "There are walls created there and it creates a snow drift up against the wall and that's where most of the weight is."
Customers said although it hampered their plans for the day, they understood.
"I'm really pleased that they are being cautious, and keeping us safe," said Marcia Brazer, who was trying to shop at Staples.
DICK's Sporting Goods had been allowed to reopen by midday, but other stores remained closed as of Thursday evening.