‘str’ object has no attribute ‘decode’. Python 3 error?

You are trying to decode an object that is already decoded. You have a str, there is no need to decode from UTF-8 anymore.

Simply drop the .decode('utf-8') part:

header_data = data[1][0][1]

As for your fetch() call, you are explicitly asking for just the first message. Use a range if you want to retrieve more messages. See the documentation:

The message_set options to commands below is a string specifying one or more messages to be acted upon. It may be a simple message number ('1'), a range of message numbers ('2:4'), or a group of non-contiguous ranges separated by commas ('1:3,6:9'). A range can contain an asterisk to indicate an infinite upper bound ('3:*').

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