Man accused of setting Fox News Christmas tree on fire in New York

NEW YORK — Authorities arrested a 49-year-old man early Wednesday on suspicion of setting a blaze that engulfed a massive Christmas tree outside Fox News headquarters in New York City.

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Craig Tamanaha, 49, faces charges including criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and arson after authorities said he set fire to the Christmas tree just before 12:15 a.m., WABC-TV reported. Tamanaha, who is homeless, had a lighter in his possession at the time of his arrest, according to the news station.

A motive for the incident was not immediately clear. Investigators believe Tamanaha acted alone and that the fire was not premeditated or politically motivated, WNBC reported.

Detective Adam Navarro told The New York Times that no one was injured in the blaze.

The 50-foot tree, dubbed by Fox News the “All-American Christmas Tree,” took workers 21 hours to decorate, according to the news station. It was adorned with 10,000 glass ornaments and 100,000 lights. On Sunday, Fox News broadcast a ceremonial lighting of the tree, a holiday tradition started in 2019.

Officials with the news network said Wednesday that crews will rebuild the tree.