Copper thief burns down Christmas tree
15 December 2010, 21:33
Birmingham - Police say someone trying to steal copper wire burned down the city of Birmingham's more than 10m Christmas tree.
Officers say someone stripped electrical wires off the Norwegian Spruce at Linn Park early on Wednesday morning, then started a fire. Police believe thieves were attempting to separate the copper wire from the plastic insulation on Christmas decorations.
But the fire spread to the tree, engulfing it in flames. Public works crews later used heavy machinery to remove the blackened limbs and trunk.
Parks director Melvin Miller says thieves have taken ornaments from the city tree in the past, but nothing like this has happened before.
Miller says the tree won't be replaced.