[Ed. – Bonus: meaningless graffiti!]
Hope Police Chief J.R. Wilson said firefighters were alerted at 3:20 a.m. after a passing motorist spotted smoke coming from what is known as the William J. Clinton Birthplace. Wilson told USA TODAY that firefighters on the scene also spotted graffiti on the building and that investigators suspect arson as the cause.
The fire caused minor damage to the exterior of the east side of the house, plus smoke and water damage to the interior. Wilson said the fire appeared to have started at the base of the east exterior wall. By the time firefighters arrived, flames reached about 8 feet high on the two-story white frame house.
“We suspect arson, because of the point of origin,” Wilson said. “Also, there was strong smell of accelerant at the point of the origin of what appeared … to smell like gasoline,” Wilson said.
Wilson said police found “55” spray-painted in black on a walkway leading to the north side of the home. Officers also spotted “XX” painted above what appeared to be a frown with a tongue sticking out on a door of the building.