BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A white supremacist who failed in his efforts to turn a small North Dakota town into an all-white enclave blamed arson Thursday for a blaze that razed a former church he owned in another community where residents have voiced fears about his intentions.
It's not clear if there is anything suspicious about the Wednesday afternoon fire at the century-old building that Craig Cobb bought in Nome last month. The Barnes County Sheriff's Office referred calls to the state Fire Marshal's Office, and spokeswoman Liz Brocker declined comment, citing an ongoing investigation. The deputy state fire marshal on the scene didn't return a call seeking comment Thursday morning.
But Cobb, who lives across the state in Sherwood, believes the fire was deliberately set by his opponents.
"There was nothing flammable, no rags or anything like that inside, no flammables in cans, and the electricity wasn't even turned on," he said Thursday. "There's no wood stove, no coal stove, nothing. It was arson."