HuffPost Weird News David Moye First Posted: 12/09/11 08:11 AM ET Updated: 12/09/11 08:50 AM ET
It sounds nutty but a mischievous squirrel almost caused an elementary school in Ellenton, Fla., to be levied with a heavy fine for a false fire alarm.
The incident happened last year at Blackburn Elementary in Ellenton, Fla., and, initially, officials thought a student may be responsible for setting off the alarm, according to MyFoxTampaBay.com.
It was actually a really screwy squirrel who had taken up residence in the school kitchen where the alarm had been triggered.
By reviewing school security cameras, the investigators discovered a video showing the squirrel scaling the wall about five feet, then hanging onto the lever to set off the fire alarm, 9news.com reported.
"We didn't have to pay any fines for a false alarm once the fire department realized the little guy was the culprit," Todd Henson, director of maintenance and operations for Manatee County Schools, told MyFoxTampaBay.com. "It's really hard to fine a squirrel, so he got a stern lecture and was released outside."
The squirrel was eventually trapped and let go.
Though the incident happened last year, the now-legendary rodent's actions are being used now by the Manatee County School District as an example of why the district maintenance department needs a contingency fund, according to HeraldTribune.com.
During a recent meeting, an official from the district maintenance department pointed out that almost anything can happen at any time in a school district with 44,000 students and 60 schools. That would include fires, hurricanes, and, yes, even a squirrel who pulled a fire alarm.
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