Man in custody after Christmas tree outside Fox News headquarters burns in fire: police

Police in New York City arrested a suspect after the Christmas tree outside Fox News headquarters burned in a fire early Wednesday morning. 

The massive fire, captured in a number of photos and videos that quickly circulated online, showed flames and smoke billowing through the tree, which is located in an outdoor plaza just steps outside of the network’s world headquarters in midtown Manhattan. 

Police told The New York Times overnight that the fire started shortly after midnight and did not cause any injuries. A 49-year-old man was in custody in connection with the fire, police said, but authorities did not identify him or give any details on the fire.

In a memo to staff on Wednesday morning, Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott called the incident “a malicious arson.”

“We are very grateful to the FDNY which quickly mobilized to extinguish the fire and the NYPD which apprehended the criminal on site who has since been charged with arson, among multiple other crimes,” Scott said.

The 50-foot “All-American” tree, with a reported 10,000 ornaments and 100,000 lights, was ceremonially lit on Sunday.

“This is just beyond tragic and angers everybody,” Brian Kilmeade, a host of “Fox & Friends,” said on the network’s morning program early Wednesday. 

“Ultimately it comes down to what kind of a person lights a Christmas tree on fire,” co-host Steve Doocy added, saying eye witnesses saw a person climbing up the tree with newspapers before the blaze started. Doocy said it would be “symbolic” for Fox News to put up another tree. 

“This is part of a bigger problem,” Kilmeade said. “It’s the crime surge in this country. … There is so much crime in places that were always safe, including 48th and 6th here. This is emblematic of these cities out of control, defame and defund the police and this bail reform that has these men and women, these assailants, these suspects out before they can even finish the paperwork. This is what you get when you have these left-wing DAs … running these cities, you get chaos.” 

–Updated at 9:41 a.m.

Tags Fox Broadcasting Company Fox News Television in the United States

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