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House explosion in Ohio being investigated as hate crime after racial slurs discovered

Posted at 10:10 AM, Aug 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-07 12:10:25-04

CLEVELAND — Deputies are investigating a possible hate crime after racial slurs were found spray painted on a home after an explosion early Wednesday morning, according to the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department in Ohio.

The house in the 6700 block of Spruce Street in Sterling, Ohio, had a minor electrical fire July 3. The couple who lived there, a white man and a black woman, were staying elsewhere during repairs, deputies said.

Around 1 a.m., neighbors reported an explosion at the home. When deputies arrived, they found racial slurs spray painted on the property, according to deputies.

House explosion Wayne County Sterling

A swastika, in addition to other racial slurs, were found spray painted on a detached garage.

The couple has lived in the home for 23 years. They said they were having some suspicions and were going to put up trail cameras yesterday, but storms prevented that. The woman who owns the home said she feels helpless and disgusted that someone would do this.

Although the couple was not home during the explosion, the sheriff's office said they are sifting through rubble to make sure there is no one is buried under everything.

No injuries were reported in the incident, deputies said.

The FBI is assisting in the investigation.

The incident is being investigated as an arson.

House explosion arson sign

This story was originally published by Camryn Justice on WEWS .