Fire destroys Pinal County elections building in Florence


by Jennifer Thomas and The Associated Press

Video reports by Mike Watkiss & Jill Galus

Posted on February 4, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Updated Thursday, Feb 6 at 4:02 PM

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FLORENCE, Ariz. -- A fire gutted the Pinal County Elections Department warehouse in downtown Florence late Monday night.

The warehouse is in an old strip mall near Main and Ruggles streets.

The fire broke out at approximately 10:30 p.m. Lost equipment includes the central computer used to tabulate results and optical scanners and touch-screen machines used at polling places, according to officials.

They said total equipment loss is estimated at $1.2 million.

Voting records aren't stored at the warehouse.
The county's next election is the state primary in August.

The county recorder said she's been assured by the Board of Supervisors chairman that the elections department will get what it needs to reconstitute.

The Pinal County Sheriff's Office evidence and storage room is right next door, but flames never made it inside. Officials said no evidence was damaged and there was only minor water damage to supplies.

Arson investigators are on scene trying to determine how the fire started. Fire investigators said Tuesday afternoon that they have not found any accelerants.