The Iowa Lottery Headquarters in Des Moines will remain closed at through today (Tuesday)and into tomorrow after an explosion and fire this morning. Lottery spokeswoman Mary Neubauer says lottery workers fled the building after people working in the basement heard some load pops and saw some sparks flying from the electrical equipment that then began to smoke. She says fire investigators believe the fire started in the electrical equipment. She says it’s equipment that was in the building when the lottery moved there earlier this month.
(Photo above shows smoke coming out the doors of Iowa Lottery Headquarters)
Neubauer says, “We’re just thankful that no-one was hurt.” Neubauer says they won’t get the office running again for at least another day. She says electricity is out in the building and investigators don’t think they can get it running again until sometime Wednesday. Neubauer says they’re still trying to determine the cost of the damage. She says the main fire damage was confined to the basement of the building in the electrical equipment room. She says there is smoke throughout the building they’re trying to clean up. Neubauer says there are still some lingering effects of the fire. She says, “The smell is that awful burnt electrical smell that you just get throughout the building.” She says they want to set up fans throughout the building, but that has to wait until they electricity back.
Neubauer says the main computer for the electronic terminal is not in the headquarters building, so sales are not impacted. She says lottery sales and drawings will continue as normal. Neubauer says any prizes over 600 dollars cannot be claimed until they get the headquarters back on-line. Neubauer says it’s a disruption after they’d just started to get settled in. She says they just moved in August 4th and were starting to feel at home again. The Lottery Headquarters moved about three blocks up the street and is now located across the street from the Terrace Hill governor’s mansion, just west of downtown Des Moines.