TAMPA (FOX 13) - Republican leaders in Hillsborough County are taking steps to protect volunteers after a GOP headquarters office outside Durham, North Carolina was fire bombed over the weekend.
Authorities in Orange County, North Carolina said a nearby business owner spotted the fire Sunday morning inside the Republican Party headquarters in Hillsborough.
Someone threw a bottle of flammable liquid through a window, which caused campaign signs, furniture, computers and the American flag to set fire inside the building. Outside, a message was spray painted that read, "Nazi Republicans get out of town or else.”
No one was inside the building at the time or injured.
"I don't believe there was any intent to kill anyone, but I do believe there was a direct attempt to intimidate volunteers," said Deborah Tamargo, chair of the Hillsborough County Republican Party.
She said it is upsetting to see how divisive the country has become during this year's political campaign.
"I've been involved in political campaigns as a volunteer my entire life. I have never seen a campaign like this," said Tamargo, "There are people that have died because of this election. The hatred that has been spawned against our military, against our police officers, against our first responders. It is very sad."
She said the vandalism in North Carolina is also a reminder for local volunteers to take extra precautions. On Sunday, Tamargo called each local GOP Office reminding volunteers not to walk to their cars alone at night. She says the group is careful to hold meetings indiscreet places for safety reasons as well.
Democratic presidential Nominee Hillary Clinton responded to the criminal actions in North Carolina on Sunday, tweeting: "The attack on the Orange County HQ office is horrific and unacceptable. Very grateful that everyone is safe."
Several hours later, Donald Trump also tweeted a statement that read, "Animals representing Hillary Clinton and Dems in North Carolina just fire bombed our office in Orange County because we are winning."
North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory issued the following statement on the fire bombing of the Orange County political headquarters:
“The firebombing of a local political headquarters in Orange County is clearly an attack on our democracy. Violence has no place in our society - but especially in our elections. Fortunately no one was injured; however, I will use every resource as governor to assist local authorities in this investigation.”
Police in North Carolina are still searching for the people behind the vandalism.