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'Bad Santa' sees red in fire alarm fury at Cambridgeshire grotto

The two events took place at the same time in the Corn Exchange in St Ives. Credit: .

Santa Claus saw red during a festive event in Cambridgeshire when he emerged from his grotto, ripped off his hat and beard and began shouting at stunned parents and children.

It happened at the Corn Exchange in St Ives on Sunday as two different events were taking place - one a "family rave" and the other a traditional "Santa's Grotto".

Parents took to social media to voice their shock after a smoke machine caused the fire alarms to go off and a raging Santa came "charging in".

One said he "ripped his hat and beard off in front of 50 odd kids and started shouting and swearing at people to leave".

The organisers of the Santa's Grotto event, Festival Events St Ives, said the fire alarms were activated by smoke in the Charter Hall.

"Santa was upstairs in his grotto, an event organised by Festival Events St Ives (a voluntary organisation) and immediately assisted in the evacuation of the building.

"FESt wish to apologise for any offence or distress caused to parents and children by the attempts to ensure all visitors and staff had exited the building and were safe."

– Festival Events St Ives