According to NY Daily News
Two days after getting a racist letter threatening him to quit, a black volunteer firefighter’s house was burned down in an upstate New York town.
On Monday, Kenneth Walker received a racist threat that if he didn’t resign from the North Tonawanda fire department, he would “regret it.”
Walker is the only black volunteer firefighter in the department. While he and his wife were at work, and his children were out of the house, flames broke out at Walker’s home on Wednesday afternoon, where he had lived for more than two years.
No one was hurt in the blaze, but Walker is still mourning his two cats’ death in the fire. The racist letter used the N-word throughout several times, hatefully telling Walker that “n—–s are not allowed to be firefighters. No one wants you in this city,” WGRZ reported.
The family said they lost everything in the fire, the station reported. Despite the anonymous racist threat and losing his home, Walker said he wouldn’t give in to the hateful demands.
“Resign from the fire department would obviously please them and I don’t want to please them,” he told the Buffalo News. “At the same time I am going to do what I have to do to protect my family. I am still going to live my life.”
Police arrested Matthew Jurado, 39, who lives across the street from Walker, on Thursday. He was charged with second-degree arson.
Jurado “admitted to us that he started the fire,” said Detective Capt. Thomas Krantz of North Tonawanda police. But the suspect denied writing the threatening letter to Walker.
“At this point, we have a name that he provided us. However, we are still looking at the possibility that it is in fact he who wrote the letter. It could be this other person but that will be determined at a later date.” Krantz said.