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Concord family targeted by racist graffiti left temporarily homeless after accidental fire

  •  Concord fireman Brian Saltmarsh pulls ceiling tiles to check for fire at 28 Thompson Street Monday. —   Courtesy photo by Jay L. Heath  

  • A window is knocked out on the second floor of an apartment at 28 Thompson St. on Tuesday after a fire hit the building Monday afternoon.

Monitor staff
Published: 11/22/2016 8:51:03 AM

A Concord family left temporarily homeless just days before Thanksgiving was one of the city families targeted by racist graffiti four years ago.

The Red Cross is assisting the Mohamed family after a fire at 28 Thompson St. on Monday.

The family is staying at a nearby Comfort Inn for two nights while the apartment is repaired, landlord Thomas Fredenburg said Tuesday.

“I’m doing everything I can to get them back in as fast possible,” he said. The apartment will eventually need a new kitchen ceiling, window, and exterior wall.

The family has been renting the unit for over five years, Fredenburg said.

The fire, just three days before Thanksgiving, only did moderate damage to the two-family home, according to the Concord Fire Department, but was enough to render it temporarily uninhabitable for the two adults and 10 children living in the first-floor unit.

The fire was first reported at 1:51 p.m. Monday and firefighters responded to find smoke coming from the rear of the building.

The fire was quickly extinguished and the damage was contained to the kitchen area of one of the units, according to Concord fire Chief Dan Andrus.

The Fire Marshal’s office determined the fire was not suspicious and caused by combustible items left too close to a radiator, Andrus said Tuesday.

This isn’t the first upsetting incident to the family on Thompson Street: back in 2012, theirs was one of the homes targeted by racist graffiti. 

The community rallied around the families, holding two “Love Your Neighbor” events. Nearby homeowners posted “love your neighbor” signs in their windows and others wore yellow ribbons in support.

The man responsible for the scrawlings, which appeared on the homes of several African refugee families, ultimately plead guilty to the crime. 

Raymond Stevens of Pembroke was sentenced to 12 months in jail in September 2015 on a single charge of felony criminal mischief. 

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