Fire that destroyed San Diego Zoo gift shop is called arson
No animals or people were hurt in the blaze that gutted a 1,200-square-foot store in Panda Canyon.
Two-dozen firefighters had the fire under control within minutes. But the structure and the contents are considered a total loss at $700,000.
The blaze was reported by a security guard at about 1:12 a.m. The gift store is near the panda exhibit and an aviary.
Despite the fire, the zoo opened as scheduled.
-- Tony Perry in San Diego
Photo: Hua Mei at the San Diego Zoo in 2000. The giant panda has since moved to China. Credit: Associated Press