YORKVILLE, OH (WTRF) — An alleged hate crime in Yorkville is surfacing into a GoFundMe, after a mom and her three kids allegedly had their lives threatened on the first day of this new year.
The mom tells 7NEWS this is not the first-time hateful vandalism has happened at the home, with two other instances reported of spray-painted racial slurs directed at her family showing up on the exterior parts of the house.
However, this is the first time it turned life-threatening, with the Yorkville Fire Department called in to extinguish a fire allegedly set ablaze in the dryer vent.
Smoke filled the house, and among others who responded, the Ohio State Fire Marshal, Yorkville Volunteer Fire Department and the Yorkville Police Department responded to the scene.
Yorkville Fire Chief Crystal McNamara said Sunday that this is an active investigation for the fire department and that she will release more information as it becomes available.
She said the police department also has an investigation underway. 7News has reached out to the Yorkville Police Department multiple times, but have not heard back.
No one was injured, but in this third incident, the family is shaken up.
Now a close friend of the family, Rebecca Blake, is speaking on the traumatized family’s behalf.
Her house smells like smoke. My friend keeps her house smelling very good so we’re trying to get her house cleaned up and back into order, and she basically depleted her funds trying to repair it from the last time.Rebecca Blake, friend speaking on family’s behalf
Blake has organized a GoFundMe to help buy a security camera for the Yorkville family, and to cover the other expenses it will take to get the smell of smoke out of the house.
While the mom and her children did not want to go on camera, Blake says given the family is biracial, and what we can see from the writing on the walls, this was an “obvious hate crime.”
I hope everybody in the community reaches out and helps support her because just because the color of someone’s skin doesn’t mean you can do that.Rebecca Blake, friend speaking on family’s behalf
7NEWS has reached out the Fire Marshal, Mayor, and the Police Department on if this incident is being marked down as a hate crime… Officials have yet to comment.
What remains unanswered at this time: Who spray-painted the home and started the fire? And will serious charges be considered?
Officials are investigating the active case and have yet to announce an arrest in connection to the volatile act.
Stay with 7News and WTRF.com for updates to this developing story.