Zoo gift shop destroyed in arson fire

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A pre-dawn arson fire gutted a gift shop at the San Diego Zoo Monday, causing an estimated $700,000 worth of property losses, authorities reported.

The non-injury blaze in the 1,200-square-foot panda-themed store erupted shortly before 2 a.m., according to the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

It took 25 firefighters about 15 minutes to extinguish the blaze, which destroyed the shop, SDFRD spokesman Maurice Luque said.

Investigators determined that the fire had been intentionally set, according to Luque, who declined to disclose what led to that conclusion. No arrests had been made by mid-afternoon.

The blaze caused about $500,000 in structural damages and consumed some $200,000 worth of merchandise and other contents, the spokesman said.

The nearest animal enclosures to the site of the fire are roughly 50 yards away.

Categories: KUSI