A small fire early today was deliberately set at a Muscatine house used as offices for Lutheran Social Service. Cheryl Plank is director of the office and woke up to the news early this morning. She says her son came home from work at three A-M and told her the HOPES house was on fire. HOPES stands for the program that Plank directs, Healthy Opportunities for Parents to Experience Success. Plank doesn’t think this was a deliberate arson attack against Lutheran Social Services or anyone working there. She says that’s what it seemed investigators were looking at originally, but the Fire Marshall’s told her he doesn’t consider this a case of arson, but vandalism. She says they think vandals came into that home at random and started a few small fires. Until the smoke damage to a kitchen entryway and an upstairs conference room is repaired, workers will double up with others at another office the agency has in Muscatine.
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