Craig Tamanaha Identified as Fox News Christmas Tree Arson Suspect

The man who is alleged to have set fire to the Christmas tree outside Fox News' offices in New York has been identified.

The New York Police department confirmed to Newsweek they have charged 49-year-old Craig Tamanaha with criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, arson, criminal nuisance-endangering others, criminal trespass, criminal tampering and disorderly conduct in connection to the blaze.

Police added they do not believe the fire which broke out at Fox Square on the corner of West 48 Street and Sixth Avenue is politically motivated.

Tamanaha, who is homeless, was arrested in the early hours of Wednesday morning after he was allegedly observed by Fox News Channel security climbing the Christmas tree decorated outside their office Manhattan offices.

"Upon arrival, officers observed the male running from the location and he was taken into custody without further incident," a police spokesperson told Newsweek.

The blaze was soon extinguished by firefighters and there are no reports of any injuries.

"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," FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott said in an internal memo seen by Newsweek.

"This has become a new wonderful tradition on FOX Square over the last three years. We will not let this deliberate and brazen act of cowardice deter us. 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," Scott continued, adding that there will be a lighting ceremony for the new tree.

Police said was a lighter was removed from the suspect after he was taken to the MTN Precinct for processing, but it's unclear if an accelerant was used to start the fire.

The cause of the blaze is to be determined by NYC Fire Marshall and the investigation is ongoing, police added.

Fox News host Shannon Bream reported on the Chritmas tree fire live during a broadcast of Fox News @ Night.

"It appears crews are there on the scene," Bream said: "You can see the smoke and aftermath. They're trying to get that under control. We're gonna keep you posted.

"It is a large, beautiful, highly decorated tree right there on the Avenue of the Americas, Sixth Avenue there in New York City, but our thanks to the crew who look like they've got that thing under control."

Bream added: "This is our All-American Christmas tree. The fire appears to be out for now. Moments ago you could see it was engulfed in flames. No word of any injuries there.

"We saw the crews there bravely fighting through this. They have gotten this under control. Looks like the fire is out for now...it looks like everybody is safe and sound. The fire is out."

The "All-American Christmas Tree" lights outside Fox's offices were only switched on Sunday evening. The 50-feet high tree features 10,000 glass ornaments, 100,000 lights and took over 21 hours to assemble, according to the network.

Update (12/8, 6:00 p.m.): This article has been updated to include comment from FOX News Media CEO Suzanne Scott.

Christmas Tree Fire Outside Fox News (VIDEO)
A man is in custody after allegedly setting fire to the Christmas tree outside the Fox News building in New York in the early hours of Wednesday, December 8. Matthew Sturiano via Storyful