CASA GRANDE — Fire investigators believe the blaze that destroyed Domino’s Pizza in Casa Grande Monday started on the outside of the building.

“We have completed an initial investigation, but it hasn’t been finalized yet,” said Casa Grande Fire Marshal Michael Wobser. “It is showing the fire actually started on the outside of the building.”

The fire was reported at 11:20 a.m. at 104 W. Florence Blvd. and caused the evacuation of nearby businesses and the closure of Florence Boulevard.

As the investigation continues, Wobser said he hopes it will be wrapped up by the end of the week.

“We have narrowed it down to the area of origin. We are talking to witnesses and doing the administrative things to finalize our findings. I do not believe it was arson at this point. Everything we’ve seen so far indicates that it was an accidental, and not an intentionally set, fire,” Wobser said.

He believes the building is a total loss as the fire intensely compromised the roof structure.

Wobser said neighboring business, including a nail salon, were not damaged by the blaze or even smoke due to a properly installed firewall between the buildings.

“There is significant damage to the interior of the space. It was confined to the Domino’s Pizza and didn’t expand into anything next door. I assume they will probably rebuild it, but that space is pretty well gutted,” he said.

During the fire, Casa Grande firefighters opened the front door to put water on the blaze and a large backdraft occurred right into the firefighters’ faces, which was captured on a PinalCentral video.

“Yes, that was a backdraft. It surprised the firefighters up front, but it is a hazard of the job. All firefighters were wearing all of their protective equipment and there were no injuries or anything like that,” Wobser said.

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Jim Headley is a reporter covering breaking news, crime and justice around Pinal County. He can be reached at jheadley@pinalcentral.com.

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