Giant Christmas tree outside Fox News’ studios allegedly set ablaze by arsonist
By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links
A 50-foot tall Christmas tree decoration outside of Fox News‘ studios went up in flames overnight and police have arrested one suspect in the incident.
The tree, which was lit on Sunday, Dec. 5, 2021, during the network’s “All-American” Christmas special, caught fire around 12:15 a.m. on Dec. 8, 2021.
Fox’s Shannon Bream, who was on air at the time, noted the incident.
The blaze was eventually distinguished and no one was injured.
The holiday tree was not a real tree, but rather created using a cone shaped metal support system. In other words, it’s more a “Christmas tree facade” — though in fairness this isn’t an uncommon way to construct displays of this scale since finding trees that large can be challenging.
The tree was set up in what the network calls “Fox Square,” an area outside the headquarters of News Corp. and Fox Media along the Avenue of Americas in New York City, which is also known as 6th Avenue.
Fox typically erects the tree in a large elevated platform surrounded by plants that sits at the corner of 6th Avenue and West 48th Street. The network’s windowed Studio M (formerly Studio F) sits just southwest of the tree while a colorful ticker and posters advertising the network cover much of the ground floor windows in the northeast side of the building.
HAPPENING NOW: Crews on the scene to extinguish fire at tree in Fox Square pic.twitter.com/q7QCey44G2
— Sean Langille (@SeanLangille) December 8, 2021
NYC police later announced that Craig Tamanaha, 49, had been arrested for alleged connections to the fire. He was charged with criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and arson.
Fox insiders have told various sources that they’ve heard from investigators that they do not believe the fire was started to send a political message.
Fox pledged that it would replace the tree, which was decorated with 10,000 ornaments and 100,000 lights.
Fox is known for its on air segments about the importance of Christmas and its Christian connections and for decrying both the “War on Christmas” and “War on Thanksgiving.”