Just three days after it was put up in front of the Fox News Corporation building on W 48th Street and 6th Avenue, a 50-foot Christmas tree was set on fire around midnight Wednesday night.

This is the third year that Fox has celebrated with a Christmas tree lighting, and since it was put up recently there were plenty of onlookers and tourists observing the chaotic scene in shock. Thursday morning, construction crews were removing the remains of the burnt tree, and a new one is expected to be relit around 5 p.m..

The suspect, 49-year-old Craig Tamanaha, was arrested at the scene. Police say he scaled the internal metal structure supporting the tree and stuffed newspapers into open spaces, then set them on fire with a lighter.

Investigators said that Tamanaha may have also tried to set the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree on fire before his successful attempt on the Fox News tree several blocks away.

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea told Eyewitness News that while Tamanaha is someone known to them due to several prior low-level arrests, “The motive I don’t think is clear at this point.” They don’t think Tamahana had a political motive for the attack, and believe he acted alone. The Commissioner said they were currently looking into whether drugs or mental illness were a factor.

Tamanaha has been charged with criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, arson, criminal nuisance, endangering others, criminal trespass, criminal tampering and disorderly conduct. He was arraigned on supervised release, meaning he will have to report to someone who will report to the court for him as early as today.

The arson attack caused an estimated $500,000 in property damage, but luckily no injuries were reported after the frightening scene.

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