Child-support payments collected from non-custodial parents hit a snag over the weekend, when a small office fire halted operations by Iowa’s Department of Human Services. D-H-S spokesman Roger Munns says they don’t know yet what caused the fire in an office building in Des Moines. He says fire officials were satisfied that it was accidental, not a deliberately set fire. If it had been set on purpose, he says the agency’s people couldn’t have gotten in to assess their damages, as the area would be sealed off for an investigation.

A switchboard briefly offline has re-opened operations so clients can phone to check the status of their payments. They won’t know how long you’ve waited for your call to go through, because one function that was off-line at the call center is a program that shows operators how long you’ve been trying to get through.

Munns says if you have a question about it, there’s a message at the call-center number with answers about the fire and other frequently-asked questions, and if you need to talk with a representative you can stand by and someone will come on the line to help you. The number of the call center is toll-free and it serves both noncustodial parents who send in child-support payments, and custodial ones waiting for the money to be processed and sent their way by the Department of Human Services.