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Man charged with arson for setting fire to 50ft Christmas tree outside Fox News Manhattan HQ | US News

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A man has been charged with arson for setting fire to a 50ft Christmas tree in front of the Fox News headquarters.

The artificial tree outside the News Corp building in Manhattan, which also houses The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post, caught fire shortly after midnight, police said.

Photos and videos showed the fully decorated tree going up in flames and firefighters battled to extinguish the blaze.

Image:
Video footage showed the moment the tree went up in flames. Pic: AP

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A 49-year-old homeless man was arrested on charges including criminal mischief, arson and trespassing, officers said.

Police said the man had a lighter, but it was unclear whether any accelerant was used.

Fox News host Shannon Bream announced the fire to viewers as firefighters were working to put it out.

“This is the Fox Square in New York, outside of Fox headquarters,” Bream said.

A man has been charged with arson for setting fire to a Fox News Christmas tree. Pic: AP
Image:
A man has been charged with arson. Pic: AP

“It appears that our giant Christmas tree there, just a couple of minutes ago, was completely engulfed in flames.”

The red, white and blue-themed tree was decorated with 10,000 glass ornaments and 100,000 lights and was lit in a
ceremony on Sunday.

It took workers 21 hours to assemble, the Fox network said.

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The 50ft tree was burned to the ground in Manhattan. Pic: AP
Image:
The 50ft tree was burned to the ground. Pic: AP

“We will not let this deliberate and brazen act of cowardice deter us,” FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott said in a statement.

“We are in the process of rebuilding and installing a new tree as a message that there can be peace, light and joy even during a dark moment like this.”

Ms Scott added that a lighting ceremony will be held for the new tree.

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