Council Bluffs house fire probed as hate crime

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (AP) — Vandalism and a fire at a Council Bluffs house are being investigated as a hate crime.

Firefighters were sent to the home about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, and they put out flames that had engulfed a bedroom there. No injuries were reported.

Kevin Durham and Shelly Owens were gone and their children were at school when the fire occurred. The couple say the house had been vandalized and racial slurs had been spray-painted several times on the walls. Durham is black; Owens is white.

Council Bluffs police Sgt. David Dawson confirmed that the incident is being investigated as a hate crime.

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