Famous Key West buoy burned after 2 set wood on fire

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) – Police are looking for two people who burned part of Key West’s famous Southernmost Point bend early New Year’s Day after setting a fire near the landmark tourist icon.

News media reports that two men lit a Christmas tree in a fire in front of the buoy around 3:30 a.m. Saturday, and the flames charred parts of the colorful, 4-ton cement monument that reads “90 miles to Cuba, Southernmost Point, Continental USA.”

Archive webcam images of the buoy from a marketing company show two people lighting the tree in 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 photos later Saturday.

The red, yellow, black and white marker looks like a giant naval navigation 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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