- A man, 49, has been arrested under suspicion of setting the Fox News Christmas tree on fire.
- Videos shared on Twitter showed the tree, located outside the Fox News building, going up in flames.
- The Fox News tree is located on West 48th Street and 6th Avenue in New York City.
New York City police said a man accused of setting a Christmas tree on fire outside of Fox News headquarters in Midtown, Manhattan, early Wednesday morning has been arrested.
Craig Tamanaha, 49, was arrested in by the NYPD in connection with the blaze, a police spokesman told Insider.
The suspect, who is believed to be homeless, was charged with criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, arson, criminal nuisance, criminal trespass, criminal tampering and disorderly conduct, the spokesman said.
The targeted Christmas tree is located at Fox Square on West 48th Street and 6th Avenue, just outside of the News Corporation building where Fox News, the New York Post, and The Wall Street Journal are housed.
Videos of the tree going up in flames circulated on Twitter in the early hours of Wednesday morning. The clips appeared to show the 50-foot (15.24m) tree engulfed in a blaze, with the decorations at the top of the tree completely decimated.
—Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) December 8, 2021
Other videos from the scene appeared to show the tree emitting clouds of smoke as law enforcement officers milled around.
—Matthew Sturiano (@Msturiano) December 8, 2021
The tree fire was announced on air during a live broadcast by Fox anchor Shannon Bream at around 12:25 a.m. local time.
A motive behind lighting the tree on fire was not immediately clear.
Tamanaha was arrested by the NYPD on two separate occasions earlier this year for criminal possession of a controlled substance, according to a law enforcement source.
The Fox News tree was first lit this year on Sunday, during an hour-long “all-American Christmas tree lighting” event.
The tree was decked out with 10,000 glass ornaments, 100,000 lights, and took workers over 21 hours to put together, according to Fox News.
Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott addressed the fire in a company-wide memo Wednesday, saying, “We will not let this deliberate and brazen act of cowardice deter us.”
“We are in the process of rebuilding and installing a new tree as a message that there can be peace, light and joy even during a dark moment like this,” Scott said.