A Dollar Tree store in Queens has been temporarily closed after a group in the neighborhood raised concerns over what they called a "rat infestation."
Conditions at the store, on Cross Bay Boulevard in Ozone Park, were called "unacceptable" by the neighborhood's block association President.
"All open bags of food, and kids running around, the chips and the pretzels were all open so the kids are going through the bags," said Sam Esposito of the Ozone Park Residents Block Association.
Esposito shared photos with FOX 5 NY that show tattered bags of food still out for sale on store shelves, including bags that appeared to be ripped open by rats.
A photo of goods inside a Dollar Tree store in Ozone Park reportedly infested with rats. (Credit: Sam Esposito)
Esposito said that, when he brought up the issue with store management, the manager said the issue "wasn't her problem," and refused to close the store.
The closing of the store has a major impact on the community, as it is the only store within roughly a half-mile radius that accepts EBT.
The Block Association made three demands to the Dollar Store chain about the location: That all perishable items be removed from the shelves, that the store be cleaned thoroughly and that shelving that is stained or damaged be replaced.
Dollar Tree's corporate office expects to reopen the store sometime next week after putting extra measures in place to "ensure all safety, sanitation health standards are met and the community's concerns are addressed."