2017-02-17 / Front Page

From sinking to sagging

Biddeford Kohl's indefinitely shuttered due to sagging roof
By ALAN BENNETT
Staff Writer

BIDDEFORD — The Kohl’s department store in Biddeford has been closed indefinitely because of what fire officials call a “discernible sag” in the store’s roof.

Biddeford Fire Department Capt. John Pothier on  Thursday evening  said emergency personnel were called to the store around 1 p.m. after employees expressed concern over what appeared to be an issue with the roof.

“We inspected the roof from below and above and noticed a discernible sag in the roof structure,” Pothier said.

The store was evacuated and the Office of Codes Enforcement was called while the store’s corporate offices were notified, Pothier said.

According to Pothier, there were multiple sagging areas in the roof’s structure — the worst of which are located in the front-right portion of the building — caused by the weight of heavy snow following two large storms in less than a week.

The partial failure of the structure comes a day after Director Codes Enforcement and Emergency Management Roby Fecteau urged property owners to clear their roofs of snow as structural failures could occur if left too long.

Pothier said the store is closed indefinitely until the roof can be repaired, and that the decision to close the store was made by “all parties.”

This is the latest hiccup for the Biddeford location of the national department store. The current building opened in September 2014 after its predecessor — constructed in 2005 — was razed due to soil problems.

Improper soil used to fill in the location of that building, which formerly housed a driving range, led to cracks in the building’s foundation and some sinkage of the structure, Fecteau told the Journal Tribune at the time.

— Staff Writer Alan Bennett can be contacted at 282-1535, ext. 329 or abennett@journaltribune.com.

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