Black Firefighter's House Burns Down After He Receives Racist Letter in North Tonawanda, New York

Black Firefighter’s House Burns Down After He Receives Racist Letter in North Tonawanda, New York

A black volunteer firefighter’s home in North Tonawanda, New York burned down two days after he received a racist letter threatening him if he did not leave the department, Fusion reported.


The letter, received by Kenneth Walker on Monday, said, “N**gers are not allowed to be firefighters. No one wants you in this city. You have until the end of the week to resign your position or you will … regret it.” The letter then repeats the anti-black slur.

“I’m still going to be helpful in the community,” Walker said after notifying authorities about the letter. “I’m going to go on calls and hopefully this is just an isolated incident and if it turns out to be more, I’m sure that and confident that the North Tonawanda police department will handle it.”

However, Walker and his family lost their two cats and all of their possessions on Wednesday when their home caught on fire.

“It’s sad that someone is so offended by my presence that they feel the need to burn my house down,” he said.

Fire Chief Joseph Sikora told WGRZ-TV that he had “no idea” if the fire was suspicious. Both the department and the FBI are investigating the blaze. A donation drive has also been organized on the family’s behalf.

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