Fire officials in Ferguson Mo. are investigating the burning of a memorial honoring slain teen Michael Brown that occurred overnight.
One of the memorials, complete with candles, stuffed animals, and other mementos, has been sitting in the middle of the street in the Canfield apartment complex where an unarmed Brown was gunned down by Officer Darren Wilson last month.
Another memorial, which sits near a neighboring telephone pole, was the one ignited last night.
The Ferguson Fire Department received a call around 6:45 a.m. about a fire on Canfield Drive. When fire fighters arrived they found the burning memorial which residents had erected in Brown’s honor. Firefighters extinguished the flames. For more than a month people had lit candles, laid cards and balloons and tied balloons to the memorial.
Fire officials told NBC News on Tuesday that they were not sure what caused the fire, but that there was evidence that candles were part of the memorial.
Residents, however, aren’t so sure the candles were the culprit.
“I woke up to it,” Marcus Henley, a resident of the apartment complex near the scene, said of the burning memorial. “They light candles every night with no problem. I think somebody set it on fire. And that says a lot to me.”
Activists, residents, and local reporters took to Twitter to post images of the charred memorial on Tuesday morning.
So Angry. Somebody set the Mike Brown memorial on fire in the middle of the night. pic.twitter.com/9M7C9uzl4o
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) September 23, 2014
— spook (@spookwrites) September 23, 2014
— Laura Hettiger KMOV (@LauraKHettiger) September 23, 2014
Two portable water extinguishers were used to put the fire out. Shortly after the fire was extinguished, residents began rebuilding the memorial.
An investigation into what caused the blaze continues.