MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Brooklyn Center family says their garage and trucks were burned early Wednesday morning, and they believe it was because of the “Trump 2020” flags that were draped over them.

The FBI and ATF have been called in to investigate the fire at Denis and Deana Molla’s home.

“I heard just a big, loud boom, or a bang,” Denis said. “The first thing for me was my kids, my wife. What’s going on?”

The family’s garage, trucks and trailer were burned just after 3 a.m. Wednesday. Graffiti on the garage read, “Biden 2020,” “BLM” — shorthand for Black Lives Matter — and the anarchy symbol of an “A” with a circle around it. Two 3 x 5 Trump flags were on the trailer and truck.

Denis says as he saw three people running from the home. He focused on getting his children — ages 2 and 5 months — out.

“Our family’s safe, that’s the main thing. All this is material, it’s all material. It’s not as important as our family,” Denis said.

The family says they got the Trump flags just a week ago after Dennis, a contractor, had a dispute at a work site over his support for the president. Since they have had the flags up, they say people have been driving by their house very slowly, some taking pictures.

“We’re just very happy to be alive, and praise God that we’re alive,” Deana said.

The family was also able to save four puppies from the smoke-filled garage. Their home suffered minor damaged. They say they can’t believe someone targeted them for their political beliefs.

“It just shocked me,” Denis said. “These kind of stuff should not happen, especially over beliefs of some sort.”

One of the family’s surveillance cameras was blocked just before the explosion. Other surveillance cameras have been turned over to authorities.

Brooklyn Center police say the Minnesota Arson Reward Project is offering a $5,000 reward for information on the case. The arson hotline is 1-800-723-2020.

Esme Murphy

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