Firebomb thrown at Manhattan Beach home in suspected hate crime

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- A Manhattan Beach family says their home was firebombed in the middle of the night in a racially motivated attack.

The blaze erupted at the front entrance of the home in the 700 block of 11th Street Wednesday at approximately 2:15 a.m.

Ronald Clinton says his wife was out of town at the time of the fire so it was his responsibility alone to save his three kids.

"I thought about the safety of my family," Clinton said. He fought the fire with a garden hose.

Clinton said investigators found what appeared to be a tire and an accelerant.

"The evidence we've collected so far indicates the fire was not accidental," Manhattan Beach Fire Chief Robert Espinosa said.

Investigators are looking into the possibility that the fire may have been a hate crime.

Meanwhile, Clinton is confident his family was targeted because they are black.

"Race is definitely the determining factor," Clinton said.

The Clinton family says they are the only African-American family in the whole neighborhood.

"It came to my door, you know. Why my house amongst all the other houses in all of Manhattan Beach?" Clinton said.

He says the incident is shocking and sickening.

"Manhattan Beach does not want their reputation to be that this is a hate crime area, community, and this is not what we are. This is not what we're about," Clinton said.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with further information was urged to contact Fire Investigator Mike Murrey at (310) 345-0467.



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