A man has been arrested and charged with arson for allegedly burning a 50-foot tall Christmas tree outside the Fox News headquarters in New York City.
According to a New York Police Department spokesperson, a 49-year-old homeless man named Craig Tamanaha was charged Wednesday morning at 12:23 a.m. for arson, criminal trespassing, criminal tampering, criminal mischief, endangering others, disorderly conduct and reckless endangerment. At 12:14 a.m., he was spotted by Fox News Channel security guards climbing the Christmas tree outside their office on the corner of West 48th Street and Sixth Avenue in Midtown.
FDNY firefighters put out the blaze within the tree without further injury or incident. Upon arrest, police officers found a lighter on Tamanaha, but it’s unclear if any accelerant was used. There were no injuries during the incident, and the NYC Fire Marshall is working to determine a cause of the fire as the investigation is ongoing. The alleged arson does not appear to be politically motivated at this time.
HAPPENING NOW: Crews on the scene to extinguish fire at tree in Fox Square pic.twitter.com/q7QCey44G2
— Sean Langille (@SeanLangille) December 8, 2021
Fox News hosts lit the massive Christmas tree on Sunday night as part of the network’s third annual “All-American Christmas” special. “Fox & Friends” co-hosts Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt and Brian Kilmeade joined Fox News contributors Abby Hornacek and Lawrence Jones in counting down to the reveal of the tree, which reportedly had 10,000 ornaments and 100,000 lights. Fox News said it took more than 21 hours to assemble the Christmas tree.
After the blaze, Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott told employees in a memo that a new Christmas tree will be built and installed.
“This has become a new wonderful tradition on Fox Square over the last three years. 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,” she wrote.” “We are currently planning on a lighting ceremony for the new tree and will send those details once we have them.”