KEY WEST, Fla. (WFLA) — Police are searching for two men they say burned the Southernmost Point Buoy in Key West.
Authorities said they suspect two while males placed a Christmas tree in front of the Southernmost Buoy and lit it on fire Saturday some time between 3 and 3:30 a.m.
The Key West Fire Department put out the flames to reveal extensive burns on the face of the icon 4-ton (3,600-kilogram) 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 restored the monument after it was damaged during Hurricane Irma in 2017.
The incident is under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call the Key West Police Department at 305-809-1000.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.