FBI, ATF helping with investigation into fire that destroyed Haskell tipi

photo by: Elvyn Jones

The poles of a tipi are pictured on the Haskell Indian Nations University campus on Saturday, May 9, 2020, after an overnight fire destroyed the structure. The tipi was built to honor Haskell's graduating class.

Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical says it is working with national agencies to investigate a fire that destroyed a ceremonial tipi at Haskell Indian Nations University.

Tom Fagan, division chief of administration for LDCFM, said in a Monday news release that the department is working closely with Haskell, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on the investigation.

The cause of the Saturday morning fire, which destroyed a tipi meant to honor the university’s graduating class of 2020, was still unknown as of Monday, according to the release.

The cost to replace the tipi is estimated to be from $2,500 to $3,000, Aaron Hove, executive director of the Haskell Foundation, told the Journal-World on Sunday. Hove and others in the community have expressed concern that arson was a possible cause of the fire.

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