CUMMING — Investigators have received their fair share of leads, and are following up on each one, as the probe into a Jan. 18 house fire in northeastern Forsyth County enters its second week.
The blaze was ruled arson late last week after investigators sifted through debris at the Lanier Drive site.
A reward for up to $10,000 has been offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.
The incident occurred while the homeowner, Pam Graf, was reportedly attending the presidential inauguration in Washington.
After learning about the fire, she cut her trip short, returning home on Jan. 19.
Forsyth County Fire Marshal Steve Anderson said officials haven’t received any tips from the county’s Crime Stoppers hotline, but Graf has offered information. "She’s given us several people she thinks did it," Anderson said. "But we are running down any lead that comes in, whether it’s from her or anybody else."
He said authorities still have some people of interest in mind, adding that they "haven’t eliminated anyone yet" from suspicion. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is helping with the investigation.
Someone also spray-painted graffiti that included a racial slur and the phrase "your black boy will die" on a fence along the house site.
The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating the writing, has not released any details of its probe. The FBI was contacted about the vandalism.
No one was home when the blaze occurred about 4 a.m. Jan. 18.
According to Forsyth County Superior Court records, Graf’s children, ages 11, 14 and 17, live with their father.
County tax records list the total value of the 3,000-square-foot home, which is insured, at $255,490.
Graf has said she thinks she was targeted because of her support for President Barack Obama.
She returned after a New Year’s holiday trip to find a threatening note in her mailbox. She said the message, written on notebook paper, included a racial slur and the phrase "watch your back."
Graf said she did not report the note to authorities because she did not take it seriously. Because of it, however, Graf said she did take down an Obama campaign sign from her yard. She said another sign disappeared from her property just before the Nov. 4 election.
Graf also has said she thinks one of her five cats died in the fire. She was not able to find it when she boarded the others before leaving for the nation’s capital.
Graf also has said she was not aware of sheriff’s office reports showing she has been involved in at least nine documented incidents since September 2006.