From NBC/NJ's Mike Memoli
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. -- The quick action by a volunteer firefighter may have saved lives last night, as Hillary Clinton's local headquarters was completely gutted by a fire.
According to one official, a volunteer firefighter was driving past the office on South 3rd Street when he noticed flames coming from the roof of the headquarters. The firefighter alerted two staffers who were working inside of the situation.
"They didn't know at the time, they were just sitting at their desks there," said John Gardner, public information officer for the Terre Haute Fire Department. "About 20 seconds after they got out of the building, the ceiling collapsed right in the area where they were at. The whole roof went in."
The fire was called in at 12:18 am, and Gardner said the department was on scene moments after.
"It was a very good structure fire in terms of smoke and flames showing; it was probably 20 feet in the air," Gardner said. "Firefighters made a real nice attack on it, saved the structure right adjacent to it."
One of the staffer's cars, which had a Hillary sticker in the window, was partially damaged by the fire as well.
The Clinton campaign's state office said that they were still gathering information about the fire. Former President Bill Clinton is set to hold a campaign event in the nearby town of Clinton this morning, and likely was staying in the area. Barack Obama is also scheduled to hold a campaign rally in Terre Haute tonight. Gardner said there was nothing to indicate any suspicious activity at this time.
"With Hillary's headquarters right here, it's high profile, so we are going through all the precautions that we have to, make sure we do a proper investigation on this," Gardner said.
Joseph Tanoos, who owned the structure, said the Clinton campaign had just moved into the building three days ago. He said that the building had been inspected and he believed it to be safe.
"It's coincidence that all the activity [happened] with the candidates was in town," he said. "But I think that's all it is, a coincidence."
Tanoos said the campaign only had moved in some desks and chairs, and likely phone lines.