Fox News’s 50-foot-tall “All-American” Christmas Tree went up in flames in Midtown Manhattan early Wednesday morning and 49-year-old suspect Craig Tamanaha has been taken into custody, ABC 7 reports.
The Christmas tree outside of Fox News has caught on fire. pic.twitter.com/No7SVK0JeF
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) December 8, 2021
The tree, located on Sixth Avenue, went up in flames around 12:15 a.m. Wednesday, ABC 7 reports. The heavy blaze spread to smaller trees in the vicinity.
“This is the Fox Square in New York, outside of Fox headquarters,” said Fox News host Shannon Bream at 12:25 a.m. “It appears that our giant Christmas Tree there, just a couple of minutes ago, was completely engulfed in flames.”
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) December 8, 2021
New York City Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire. Police say it is unclear whether or not an accelerant was used to enhance the fire’s spread, Fox News reports.
ABC 7 reports that security saw 49-year-old Craig Tamanaha, a homeless man with a last known address of Brooklyn, climbing the tree and notified officers in Rockefeller Center. He was promptly arrested, and authorities discovered a Tamanaha had a lighter in his possession, the outlet reports.
Police say a motive has not yet come to light, though it appears the man acted alone, ABC 7 reports.
— Sean Hannity (@seanhannity) December 8, 2021
He faces charges of “criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, arson, criminal nuisance, endangering others, criminal trespass, criminal tampering, and disorderly conduct” and is due in court later Wednesday, according to ABC 7.
Tamanaha has three prior arrests, one for public intoxication and two for drug possession.
The blaze comes days after the December 1 tree lighting and Fox’s coverage of the lighting ceremony, which aired Sunday.
A few more snapshots from last night's Fox Christmas tree lighting! We have a BIG special debuting on @FoxNews this Sunday at 10p ET, where you can watch @abbyhornacek and @LawrenceBJones3 light up our beautiful tree and so much more. Don't miss it! #AllAmericanChristmas pic.twitter.com/fk7IEyCJzF
— Fox Nation (@foxnation) December 2, 2021
The 50-foot-tall tree boasted 100,000 lights, 10,000 glass ornaments and took workers 21-hours to assemble, Fox News reports. The outlet states “Crews will rebuild the tree this month.”
“The holiday display is set up in what News Corporation calls Fox Square outside its headquarters, which houses Fox News, The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post,” ABC 7 reports.
New York City Police Department Detective Adam Navarro told the New York Times no one was injured in the arson.