Early this morning, a series of photos began to spread over social media that showed a memorial to Michael Brown, near where he was fatally shot in Ferguson, Mo., being burned on the ground by a large flame. As of this afternoon, neither police nor residents can confirm the cause of the blaze.
Firefighters came to the scene and put the flames out with extinguishers early Tuesday morning, KMOV reports. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson has since released a statement on the fire saying the cause is unknown and authorities are investigating, though earlier this morning the police speculated that it was started by candles at the memorial.
We're all saddened by the fire that was reported at one of the Michael Brown Memorials this morning and are trying to obtain as much information as possible to determine what happened. At this time the cause is unknown.
To anyone who believes we didn't do everything in our power to put this fire out I want to apologize and let you know that was not the case. Some of our police cars are equipped with an emergency kit that includes a fire extinguisher and Sgt. (Harry) Dilworth was first on the scene and attempted to put the fire out but couldn't so he alerted the Fire Department and they ultimately put out the fire.
Anyone who has any information or videos please reach out to us as this will help as we investigate this incident.
The memorial was set up only a few feet from where Michael Brown was shot on August 9 by police officer Darren Wilson. Since the memorial was destroyed early this morning, residents have speculated that the fire was an act of arson, one member of the community, David Whitt, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that, "There was no way a candle did this... That fire was burning too high and too hot."
After the fire was put out, residents began to rebuild the memorial again.
[Image via AP]