‘We’re not coming back. We’re done’: House explosion in Ohio being investigated as hate crime


Photo from the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department

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STERLING, Ohio — A house explosion in northeastern Ohio is being investigated as a hate crime, police say.

According to the Wayne County Sheriff Travis Hutchinson, the explosion was reported around 1 a.m. Wednesday in Sterling. Police found a swastika and racial slur painted on the garage. Racial slurs were also found on neighbors’ vehicles, police said.

No injuries were reported, according to WJW. The FBI will be involved in the investigation.

"We've been here 23 years and never had a problem,” homeowner Angela Frase told WJW. “I don't know where this is coming from. Why. Why someone would target us."

Frase and her husband, who is white, weren’t home at the time of the explosion. About a month ago, there was an electrical fire upstairs. The gas line was disconnected Tuesday after contractors thought they smelled gas. The electric was also off.

Frase said she vomited twice after learning what happened.

“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,” she said.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office is working to determine the cause of the explosion. Frase said she and her husband are moving away.

"Disbelief that there's still this much hatred in America," Frase 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."

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