KEY WEST, FLA. (WSVN) - Crews have begun the process of restoring the Southernmost Point buoy in Key West after two people were seen on video setting a fire near the tourist attraction.
Authorities said 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 (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 showed two people lighting the tree on fire near the marker, with the flames leaving a large black burn mark on the monument.
According to the City of Key West, barring any issues with the weather, they expect to have the restoration completed by the end of the week.
The incident remains under investigation.
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 last restored the monument after it was damaged during Hurricane Irma in 2017.
If anyone has any information regarding those responsible for the fire damage to the marker, contact Key West Police at 305-809-1000.
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