TURLOCK (CBS13) — Some community members in Turlock came to the rescue after a family found a racial slur outside their home, then escaped a fire on their backyard fence just days later.
The suspicious situation is still under investigation by Turlock police, but now the family has a new fence and a new sense of security.
The transformation is like night and day. What was just a pile of ashes and a police investigation, is now a symbol of hope.
“It’s good people and something terrible happened to them. I wanted to show them this is not who Turlock is,” said Tim Fried, the volunteer who organized this effort.
Fried came across the incident online. A Black family who found the n-word spray-painted on their fence last week, then escaped a fire days later.
“This is not right, let’s do something to help make this right for this family,” he said.
He saw the sympathy online but wanted to provide the solution. This family needed a new fence and he knew how to build one.
“Anybody could walk through the alley through their duplex there out to the front and into the street,” Fried said.
Fried rallied some volunteers. People from all over the community who didn’t know each other.
“We sunk some posts in the ground, threw some concrete in there and just started building a fence,” he said.
They made it happen in just hours. It gave peace to a family who said they felt targeted and like somebody was coming after them.
“It could have killed people. Because where the fire was is where my cousin and two kids sleep,” said Tamara Clayton, a relative of the family whose house burned, said last Friday.
They wonder if the person who did this might do it again. But now, they have a little extra protection in a new fence and some new friends.
“It just comes down to be a good person. Do unto others as you would hope to have done to you,” Fried said.
There has not been an update from the police on this incident. They are still investigating if the hate crime and the fire were connected.