Neighbor Arrested in Arson of Black Firefighter's Home | NBC New York
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Neighbor Arrested in Arson of Black Firefighter's Home

The fire erupted two days after Walker reported finding a racist and threatening letter in his mailbox

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    Detectives are investigating a suspicious blaze that gutted the home of a New York suburb's only black firefighter — two days after he received a threatening and racist letter in his mailbox. Kenneth Walker, 28, his wife Amanda and their two kids were not at their North Tonawanda apartment when the fire broke out, local police said. (Published Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016)

    A former firefighter was arrested in a suspicious blaze that gutted the home of Kenneth Walker, the only black firefighter in North Tonawanda, New York, police said Thursday. The fire erupted two days after Walker reported finding a racist and threatening letter in his mailbox, NBC News reported

    North Tonawanda police Capt. Thomas Krantz said at a news conference that the suspect, Matthew Jurado, 39 — who lives across the street from Walker — admitted having set the fire because he'd recently been "removed" from the Gratwick Hose Volunteer Fire Company.

    But Jurado, who was charged with second-degree arson, denied that he'd sent the letter and insisted that the fire wasn't race-related, Krantz said.

    Walker, 28, his wife, Amanda, and their two kids weren't in their apartment when the blaze broke out Wednesday, police said.

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