A fire that was confined to the front entrance of a family’s Manhattan Beach home was being investigated as suspicious on Thursday.
Firefighters were called to the blaze about 2:15 a.m. Wednesday in the 700 block of 11th Street (map), according to a news release from city fire Chief Robert Espinosa of Manhattan Beach.
Family members were alerted to the blaze by their dog and working smoke detectors, and no one was injured.
“I wake up, I see flames, I see somebody with, I believe … the intent to kill,” said homeowner Ron Clinton.
Clinton told KTLA he ran and got his family out of the house and then grabbed a garden hose to keep the flames from spreading until fire crews arrived.
The fire was confined to the front entrance, but there was significant smoke damaged to the second and third floor, according to Espinosa.
Clinton said he smelled gasoline and told KTLA he believed the fire was racially motivated.
“Can’t say what a person’s motives are, but as a victim, I feel that we are targeted,” Clinton said.
The Fire Department was “aggressively investigating this very serious matter,” the release stated.
“The cause of the fire is suspicious in nature,” the release stated. “The motive has not been determined and to speculate before the completion of the investigation can be detrimental to the family, the community, and the investigation.”
The street where the fire occurred is in an affluent area of multimillion-dollar homes. At least two homes on the block sold for more than $3 million within the last two years, according to property records on Zillow.com.
Anyone with information about the fire was asked to call Fire Investigator Mike Murrey at 310-345-0467 or submit an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.