KEY WEST, Fla. — Police are searching for two people who burned a part of Key West’s famous Southernmost Point buoy early New Year’s Day after setting a fire near the landmark tourism icon.
News outlets report two males lit a Christmas tree on fire in front of the buoy around 3:30 a.m. Saturday and the flames charred sections of the colorful, 4-ton cement monument that reads “90 miles to Cuba, Southernmost Point, Continental U.S.A.”
Archival webcam images of the buoy from a marketing company shows two people lighting the tree on fire near the marker, with the flames leaving a large black burn mark on the monument.
The webcam showed tourists gathering near the damaged buoy for pictures later Saturday.
The red, yellow, black and white marker resembles a giant marine navigational buoy. It proclaims that Key West is 90 miles (145 kilometers) from Havana. Artists were forced to restore the monument after it was damaged during Hurricane Irma in 2017.
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