The birthplace of former U.S. President Bill Clinton in Hope, Arkansas, was slightly damaged in a suspected arson fire early on Friday, police said.

The fire to the rear of the house, designated a National Historic Site, was reported shortly after 3 a.m. CST, Hope Police Chief J.R. Wilson said.

"We do suspect arson," he said, adding that there was the smell of an accelerant at the site.

Firefighters quickly put out the blaze. Wilson described the damage as minimal.

Officers questioned people in the area but have no suspects, he said.

Clinton, the 42nd U.S. president, lived in the house with his mother and maternal grandparents for the first four years of his life.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Leslie Adler)