White supremacists are detonating houses now?
Authorities are investigating an overnight house explosion as a hate crime because of the swastikas and racial slurs that were scrawled across the garage and nearby cars, according to local news reports.
Wayne County Sheriff Travis Hutchinson told Fox 8 Cleveland that a house owned by a Black woman and her White husband exploded at about 1 a.m. in Sterling, Ohio, which is about halfway between Cleveland and Columbus.
No one was injured in the blast.
Hutchinson said there was no electricity or gas on in the home at the time of the explosion. He told reporters that a gas company was working on the home earlier in the day and said they detected the smell of gas inside the residence. Because of that “suspicious activity,” authorities believe the explosion was intentional.
“Total disbelief,” said homeowner Angela Frase, according to Fox 8 Cleveland. “We’ve been here 23 years and never had a problem. I don’t know where this is coming from. Why? Why someone would target us?”
Another thing that troubles authorities is the fact that the house caught fire about a month ago, so the married couple was already staying elsewhere while their home was being repaired. That fire is also under investigation.
“It’s a blessing me and my husband… were not here,” Frase told Fox 8 Cleveland. “Last night I got up here, I threw up twice. I woke up this morning thinking maybe this is a dream. It’s gone. Everything we own is gone. I know it can be replaced, but sentimental things, personal things, you can’t get back. It’s gone.”
The sheriff also told Fox 8 that he will enlist the aid of the FBI, the Ohio state fire marshal and other agencies to assist in the investigation. Meanwhile, Frase indicated that she has had it.
“Disbelief that there’s still this much hatred in America,” she said. “We’ve been here 23 years, and we’ve never had a problem and now this. We decided, whatever happens, we’re not rebuilding here. We’re not coming back. We’re done.”