Lieutenant Shows Damage to Buena Precinct - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Lieutenant Shows Damage to Buena Precinct

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Buena, WA -  The Yakima Sheriff's Office says they'll have to replace the lower valley precinct in Buena.  A fire completely destroyed the building last night - and fire investigators say it could be arson.

Precinct Commander Max James walked us through all the damage.  

"This is where the desks for detectives were," says Lieutenant James, pointing to something that looks to be completely charred black.

He begins the tour in what used to be the detectives office.  Desks, phones and computers are all completely destroyed.

"We're walking on the ceiling," says Lieutenant James.  He steps in wet muck, which is insulation that fell down from the ceiling.

Next it's the evidence room.

"What was in it was saved," he says relieved.  Saved on a central computer system at headquarters in Yakima.

The fire started in his office.   Everything inside was completely ruined; his desk and all his work.

"It was home.  Home away from home."

The Lietenant navigates the obstacle course that is the main hallway.  In administrative office, staff goes through files, looking for anything that can be saved.

Lieutenant James needs a flashlight to show us the damage in the Sergeant's office.  The room where they interview suspects and the receptionist office are also a total loss.  The only thing that still works is the clock in the lobby.  Ironically, valuable time will be needed to clean up this mess.

"There's a lot of loss here," says Lieutenant James. 

He says the fire won't affect patrols.  They have also set up temporary offices for their detectives.  But now, people in the lower valley will have to go to Yakima for counter service. That includes people who want to register concealed weapons, sex offenders and teachers who need to get finger printed.