Ohio house explosion investigated as possible hate crime after swastikas, racial slurs found: Authorities

MILTON TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- A house explosion in Ohio is being investigated as a possible hate crime after racial slurs and a swastika were found spray-painted on the home's garage and neighboring property, according to local authorities.

Sterling firefighters responded to the explosion in Milton Township in northeastern Ohio's Wayne County around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, local television station WEWS reported. Authorities say the house was reduced to rubble.

No injuries were reported. Deputies said the homeowners were staying elsewhere while the house was being repaired from an electrical fire in early July.

Sterling firefighters had been called to the home earlier in the week after an unknown person apparently tried to destroy the home by filling it with natural gas and then turning the stove burner on, investigators said Wednesday. Gas and electricity had been disconnected due to the ongoing electrical repairs that were being made.

Homeowner Angela Frase, who is black, says she and her husband, who is white, have lived at the home since 1997 and hadn't experienced any racial prejudice in the community, which sits about 30 miles east of Akron.

The FBI and state fire marshal investigators have been called to help investigate.

Wayne County Sheriff Travis Hutchinson described the community as "close-knit" and "very supportive," adding that "this type of activity is very disappointing."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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