An animal rights group claimed responsibility for a fire at a fur store that missed valuable pelts but ruined a Santa Claus outfit.
No one was injured in the three-alarm fire Thursday at Del Conte’s Furriers.
A statement read to the Associated Press by a caller claiming to be part of a group called the Animal Liberation Front said the fur industry is “a perverse business which needlessly murders millions of animals each year to provide humans with deplorable status symbols.”
“The ALF will continue its war against this Nazism until the bloody fur trade is abolished from our society forever,” the statement said.
The words “ALF” and “No More” were spray-painted on the side of the store.
Fire Capt. Bob Waldron said the cause of the fire was under investigation.
“Fortunately, none of the valuable things were destroyed. They were all in the safe,” said the store’s owner, Eva Del Conte, who declined to estimate the damage.
She said the store would not reopen. It had been advertising a retirement clearance sale.
The Santa Claus outfit was to be worn tonight at a tree-lighting ceremony sponsored by a merchants association, Del Conte said. “They burned Santa Claus,” she said.