Fredericksburg Police Department Fire

A screenshot from a surveillance video shows a fire being set at the entrance of the Fredericksburg Police Department.

Fredericksburg authorities are investigating an incident early Sunday in which someone described only as an unknown male set two small fires near the front entrance of the city police department.

City police spokeswoman Sarah Kirkpatrick said the incident took place about 12:35 a.m. at police headquarters at 2200 Cowan Blvd. The male poured a flammable liquid in the area of the front entrance and started two small fires before running off toward the nearby Commons at Cowan Boulevard apartment complex, police said.

City firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the fires, Kirkpatrick said. No one was injured, but there was damage to the sidewalk and the police department's Fallen Officer memorial.

City Police Chief Brian Layton said he understands the outrage stemming from the "tragic and avoidable" death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and "we are all deeply saddened by his death and are praying for his family during this difficult time."

Still, Layton said he is "heartbroken this senseless act (the arson at the police station) happened here in our great city. Violence and senseless acts are never the answer. I am extremely confident that what occurred in Minneapolis could never happen in Fredericksburg. We as a city need to come together and set a positive example for other communities across the nation."

The city police and fire departments are conducting a joint investigation into Sunday's incident, which will include video captured at the scene.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404

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