Christmas tree set on fire in Oakland’s Jack London Square

Bay Area

OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – The Grinch is out and about this holiday season — An arson investigation is underway after someone set a Christmas tree on fire at a popular holiday spot in Oakland.

Fire investigators are asking for the community’s help in finding whoever is responsible. 

Photos were taken after the Christmas tree at Jack London Square was set on fire overnight Monday around 1:20 a.m.

“Definitely a scary situation and could have been very, very dangerous,” Michael Hunt, Oakland Fire Department spokesperson, said. “The crew got there within a minute and a half at most. Turned the corner into Jack London Square and observed the tree was on fire. About 15% of the lower bottom area of the tree was ablaze and the fire was crawling its way up to the top of about a 60-foot tree. There was a canister found at the scene.”

Fire investigators found evidence of arson near the tree.

“There was a canister found at the scene. This clearly looks to be intentionally set,” Hunt said. 

The Christmas tree was installed over the Thanksgiving weekend, an Oakland holiday tradition that dates back to 1970.

There are questions surrounding the condition of the Christmas tree potentially impacting upcoming holiday events. Officials at Jack London Square sent KRON4 a statement that reads:

The condition of the Christmas tree at Jack London Square is being evaluated and we currently expect the Christmas tree lighting program will take place as planned for this Saturday at 6:00 p.m.  

Fire investigators are checking surveillance cameras for any possible suspects. Anyone with information is asked to contact Oakland police.

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