- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 24, 2020

Federal and local authorities are investigating a suspected arson after a Minnesota family that had a “Trump 2020” flag on one of their vehicles saw their garage torched and tagged with “Biden 2020” graffiti.

Police said officers and firefighters responded to the blaze before dawn Wednesday in Brooklyn Center, where a detached garage was burned to the ground and several vehicles including an RV were destroyed.

Minor damage was done to the house, where Deana and Dennis Molla said they were sleeping along with their 2-year-old son and 5-month old daughter when the fire erupted, the Star Tribune reported.

Police said in a news release that “Biden 2020,” “BLM” and an anarchy symbol had been written with fresh spray paint on the garage door.

Mrs. Molla told a local NBC News affiliate that her husband had purchased a “Trump 2020” flag 10 days earlier and had it mounted on the side of their RV parked in the driveway. She said someone stole the flag Monday morning, but they replaced it with a new one later that day.

Police said the Trump flag was also destroyed.

The Mollas told the NBC affiliate that the fire started with the RV and spread to two other pickup trucks parked in the driveway. It then spread to the detached garage, where four puppies were sleeping, they said. Mr. Molla said he ran into the garage and was able to save the puppies.

“I couldn’t see anything,” Mr. Molla said. “I had to just feel for where the puppies were. I got two out and went back in and got the other two.”

Police said officers and firefighters helped save all the family’s animals, which also included three adult dogs in kennels. They’re asking anyone with information on the incident to call the Arson Hot-Line at 1-800-723-2020.

The Minnesota Arson Reward Project is also offering rewards of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest.

“This fire is considered suspicious, and our investigation remains extremely active,” police said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Mollas say they are still in disbelief.

“I think things have gotten way out of control,” Mr. Molla, whose family fled Soviet Russia when he was 4 years old, told the Star Tribune. “I’m not one of those confrontational people. … I just feel very sorry for my parents, just because they wanted to leave the USSR for us to have a better future and life in America. … For them to see me express my beliefs as a Republican, it’s crazy to think it came down to this.”

“They saw that we have a jungle gym and toys in the backyard,” Mrs. Molla said. “To put our babies in harm’s way because you don’t agree with our politics — just don’t put our kids in danger. My son smells like smoke.”

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