Squirrel Pulls Fire Alarm At Elementary School [Video]
Did you hear the story of the Squirrel that pulled the fire alarm at an elementary school? I am not talking about some kid pulling a "squirrelly prank" I am talking about a real squirrel! Watch the video and read the full story below.
ELLENTON - The story of the vandal squirrel lives on in the Manatee County School District.
Long after the rascally rodent pulled his stunt — setting off a fire alarm that led to the evacuation of an elementary school last year and an investigation into who pulled the false alarm — the squirrel's actions came up at a School Board budget meeting this week.
In defense of why the district maintenance department needs a contingency fund, an official pointed out that almost anything can happen at any time in a school district with 44,000 students and 60 schools and other buildings.
Such as a lightning strike, the official suggested, or a hurricane, or — believe it or not — the squirrel who pulled the fire alarm, and had its act caught on a security camera.
Students were evacuated and fire trucks rushed to Blackburn Elementary School in Ellenton in August 2010 when a fire alarm inside the school kitchen went off.
Firefighters searched the school and found no fire. Baffled officials questioned kitchen staff who all said no one was in the kitchen when the alarm was triggered.
The mystery was finally solved when maintenance staff reviewed security camera footage. The culprit was a squirrel who had taken up residence in the school kitchen.
Video footage showed a move that would not look out of place in a "Mission Impossible" movie. The critter climbs vertically up 5 feet of plastic moulding that covered the wires of the alarm, known as a pull station. Then it hung onto the lever, setting off the alarm; it immediately flees the scene.
"We've had kids pull fire pull-stations; we've never had an animal do it," said Todd Henson, director of maintenance and operations.
The footage was played to bemused North River Fire Department officials to convince them the false alarm was not the district's fault.
As for the squirrel? A pest control unit was dispatched to the school kitchen to trap it.
"He was released but he was given a stern talking to not to do it again," Henson joked.