Jan. 7 (UPI) — Investigators are looking into whether a fire that destroyed the home of a woman who accused Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual misconduct was arson.
The Etowah County Arson Task Force is investigating the fire that occurred Wednesday morning at the home of Tina Johnson in Gadsden, Ala., but the sheriff’s office said in a release Friday that “the ongoing investigation does not lead us to believe that the fire is in any way related to Roy Moore or allegations made against him.”
“I am devastated, just devastated,” Johnson told AL.com on Friday. “We have just the clothes on our backs.”
But one day later she is in better spirits after a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign that started Friday had raised $121,872 by Saturday night. The account was started by Katie Jacobs Stanton, a former executive at Twitter, who is the chief marketing officer at genetic testing startup Color Genomics.
Stanton said in a Go-FundMe post the house was valued at $100,000, according to Zillow, and money left could be donated “to organizations supporting victims of arson and/or sexual harassment.”
“Honestly, I’m in shock like I was the day it happened. I can’t comprehend all this, it’s just overwhelming,” she told CNNMoney. “I need a home for my grandson.”
Tina Johnson and her husband were at work, and her grandson at school, when neighbors and workers called 911 shortly after 8 a.m. The Lookout Mountain Fire Department extinguished the fire.
Johnson said her neighbors witnessed a young man who had a history of public intoxication walking around the house before and during the blaze.
“He’s been trouble in the neighborhood for a while,” said Kevin Tallant, who lives across the street from Johnson and her family.
No one was hurt in the fire.
“A suspect of interest is being spoken to,” the sheriff’s department said in the release. “But there have been no charges, to my knowledge, related to the fire at this time.”
Johnson and her family are now staying at a motel.
Johnson was among eight women who said Moore acted inappropriately with them.
She had told AL.com that Moore grabbed her in his law office while with her mother in 1991. At the time, she was 28 years old and was signing over custody of her 12-year-old son to her mother, with whom he’d been living. Moore was hired to handle the custody petition.