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Dickson City Denny’s Remains Closed Following Ceiling Collapse

September 28, 2018

DICKSON CITY — A Denny’s restaurant in the borough remains closed pending a building inspection process after part of the eatery’s ceiling collapsed earlier this month, injuring three. Emergency crews responded to the restaurant at 410 Scranton-Carbondale Highway around 8:15 p.m. on Sept. 21. At the time, borough Code Enforcement Officer Jim Damski said it appeared decorative features on the ceiling had collapsed. Three people were injured, including a waitress, though the extent of their injuries is unknown. A GoFundMe page soliciting donations for the waitress was no longer active as of Friday. Contractors removed debris from the restaurant Thursday afternoon but had yet to start making repairs, said Tim Farrell, who identified himself as area manager for Gills Properties PA Inc., the company runs the Denny’s franchise in Dickson City, Farrell said. Efforts to reach Farrell and other Gills Properties officials were unsuccessful Friday. Before the Denny’s can reopen, an engineer or architect licensed in Pennsylvania must evaluate the ceiling system and determine what caused the collapse, borough manager Cesare “Ches” Forconi said. “The borough’s concern is we don’t want the remaining portions of the ceiling to have the same failure,” Forconi said. The professional conducting the evaluation will determine the cause of the failure, if the rest of the ceiling is safe and what repairs are required. Any repairs will require a borough-issued building permit. Ultimately, the borough’s third-party building inspectors, Building Inspector Underwriters of Pennsylvania, will review the architectural or engineering designs to assure they meet the borough’s building requirements. They would also inspect the repairs before releasing a certificate of occupancy to the borough, which indicates the repairs meet all the requirements of the borough’s building code. At that point, the borough would allow the restaurant to reopen, Forconi said. The goal is for Denny’s to reopen as soon as possible, but not any sooner than safety dictates, Farrell said. He directed all additional questions to Denny’s corporate offices in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Efforts to reach officials there were unsuccessful. Contact the writer: jhorvath@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9141; @jhorvathTT on Twitter

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