KINSTON — Attorney William W. Gerrans knows criminals, working as a defense attorney, but he says he cannot understand why someone would toss what he believes was a firebomb into the offices of Gerrans, Foster & Sargeant, gutting them.
Two other buildings on the same block of East Gordon Street were also ablaze when firefighters arrived about 1 a.m. Saturday, and the city Department of Public Safety is treating them as suspicious and brought in agents from the State Bureau of Investigation and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
“We had not received any threats or insinuations of any attack or problems,” Gerrans said in response to a question about whether someone might be angry at the law firm.
In an email sent Saturday, Gerrans said the office had been “firebombed.”
“I said it was a firebombing because a witness said he saw a person throw an object into our building and then saw flames bellow [sic] from the building. Firemen told me it appeared that an explosive device was thrown into the building too,” Gerrans added.
Gerrans said he and his two law partners took turns keeping watch on their office once firefighters had put out the flames. The office still held clients’ confidential records, he said.
He said the attorneys “were encouraged by the out-poring of prayers, offers of support and well wishes we received from our friends and colleagues across the State and around the country. Hundreds of people contacted us yesterday. It was humbling.”