Police have arrested a man after he allegedly set fire to the Christmas tree outside the News Corporation building in New York City.
The red, white, and blue themed Christmas tree — standing 50 feet tall and topped with a red star — was set ablaze shortly after midnight Wednesday, when flames quickly spiraled upward, according to Fox News.
A spokesperson for the police department told WNBC-TV a 49-year-old man is in custody. Footage of the crime, originally circulated on the Citizen App, showed black smoke billowing from the Christmas tree after a man allegedly scaled the display and lit it on fire.
Before it was torched, the Christmas tree was decorated with 10,000 glass ornaments and 100,000 lights. The tree took workers 21 hours to assemble and decorate.
Here’s what it originally looked like:
Fox News Media CEO Suzanne Scott told staff members Wednesday morning the Christmas tree would be rebuilt as “a message that there can be peace, light and joy even during a dark moment.”
“Earlier this morning, Fox News Media’s All-American Christmas tree outside our building on Fox Square was set on fire in a malicious arson attack,” she said. “The 50-foot tree, which was just lit in a beautiful on-air ceremony on Sunday night, was engulfed in flames and smoke permeated the building.”
“There were no injuries and thankfully all employees working inside the building remained safe throughout the duration of the fire,” Scott added. “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. Our security team also did a great job responding to the incident immediately.”
Watch the Fox News report on the incident:
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