It was the squirrel who pulled the fire alarm

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.

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