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St. Pete police investigate Uhuru House fire

No injuries and only minor damage reported in Saturday morning blaze.
Protestors lineup outside of the Uhuru House before a June 2020 march. A minor fire was reported Saturday and police are assisting in an investigation.
Protestors lineup outside of the Uhuru House before a June 2020 march. A minor fire was reported Saturday and police are assisting in an investigation. [ DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Jul. 2|Updated Jul. 2

ST. PETERSBURG — Police are assisting in an investigation of a Saturday morning fire at the Uhuru House that set a flag and nearby palm trees ablaze.

St. Petersburg Police responded to the fire at 1291 18th Ave. S around 10:15 a.m., according to a department news release.

No one was injured and no other damage occurred.

Detectives are working to identify a suspect, the release stated.

Later Thursday, an Uhuru-related media organization, Burning Spear, released video related to the incident, according to the Associated Press.

The video shows a person using a flamethrower to set fire to a Pan-African flag flying on a pole. The group said the driver of a white sedan who used the weapon stopped when a worker inside the building yelled, the Associated Press reported.

The Uhuru House has been the headquarters and cultural center for the International Uhuru Movement since 1991. The two-story orange stucco building is a well-known institution and landmark.

The building underwent an extensive renovation in 2007.

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