A man has been detained and charged with arson after allegedly torching a 50-foot-tall Christmas tree outside Fox News’ New York offices.
A 49-year-old homeless man named Craig Tamanaha was charged Wednesday morning at 12:23 a.m. with arson, criminal trespassing, criminal tampering, criminal mischief, endangering others, disorderly conduct, and reckless endangerment, according to a New York Police Department spokesperson. At 12:14 a.m., Fox News Channel security guards noticed him climbing the Christmas tree outside their Midtown office on the corner of West 48th Street and Sixth Avenue.
Without further incident or harm, FDNY personnel extinguished the fire within the tree. When Tamanaha was arrested, authorities discovered a lighter on him, but it’s unclear if any accelerant was used. There were no injuries reported during the event, and the NYC Fire Marshall is investigating the cause of the fire. At this moment, it does not appear that the alleged arson was motivated by politics.
On Sunday night, Fox News hosts lit the giant Christmas tree as part of the network’s third annual “All-American Christmas” programme. “Fox & Friends” co-hosts Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt, and Brian Kilmeade, together with Fox News commentators Abby Hornacek and Lawrence Jones, counted down to the reveal of the tree, which reportedly contained 10,000 ornaments and 100,000 lights. According to Fox News, the Christmas tree took more than 21 hours to put together.
Following the fire, Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott informed workers in a memo that a new Christmas tree will be constructed and placed.
“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.”