A homeless man was charged Wednesday with arson and other crimes for setting fire to a 50-foot (15-meter) Christmas tree at the entrance to Fox News’ Manhattan offices, police said.
The artificial tree next to the Nws Corp. building, which houses Fox News, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post, was set on fire shortly after midnight Tuesday.
Photos and videos of the scene show the burning tree.
Fox News anchor Shannon Bream announced the fire live as firefighters worked to extinguish the flames.
“This is Fox Square in New York, next to the Fox offices,” Bream said. “It looks like our huge Christmas tree out there a few minutes ago was engulfed in flames.”
No injuries were reported.
A 49-year-old man who police say was homeless was arrested on charges including arson, burglary and property crime. It was not known if he had a lawyer.
Police said the man had a lighter, but it was unclear if he used an accelerant.
The tree had been illuminated in a ceremony during a special Christmas show for the network on Sunday. On Wednesday, his charred remains were dismantled.
“We will not let this willful and blatant act of cowardice discourage us,” FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott said in a memo to staff. He said a new tree will be installed “as a message that there can be peace, light and joy even in dark times like this.”
He added that a ceremony will be held to turn on the lights of the new tree.