An explosion and smoky fire has forced the evacuation of the Iowa Lottery Headquarters building in Des Moines. Lottery spokesperson Mary Neubauer was in the building at the time. She says they were working this morning when all of the electricity went out. She says people working in the basement heard some load pops and saw some sparks flying from the electrical equipment.
The lottery headquarters moved earlier this month several blocks up the street to a new location near the governor’s mansion. She says they still have contractors and workers on site doing some work in the building, so they aren’t sure of the cause of the smoke and fire. Neubauer says there are 60 to 70 people who work in the building and everyone got out safely.
Neubauer says the fire shouldn’t stop anyone from buying an electronic lottery ticket. She says they double-checked to see that the sales were still going on. She says the main computer that runs the sales is in the nearby suburb of Urbandale, so it was not affected. Neubauer says anyone who has a large prize that requires them to come to lottery headquarters will have to wait.
She says, “Obviously that’s gonna be affected until we can determine the extent of the damage inside the building and actually get inside the building. We don’t know how long that will be, or when that will be at this point.”