McGee Middle School students were evacuated this morning from the school for 20 minutes in the parking lot and around a half hour in the gym, when a small fire broke out in a boiler room.
According to multiple media reports, a squirrel was responsible for the fire.
The event started with power flickering on and off and then the lights went out. At that point a custodian smelled smoke and the smell was traced to a boiler room in the school.
"A custodian smelled smoke and went to the boiler room where he found a compressor smoking pretty good," McGee School Principal Dr. Scott Ratchford said. "We put a fire extinguisher on it and that made it smoke more so we made the decision to get the students out of the building to be on the safe side."
Ratchford said the event was actually a minor event but had an interesting origin.
"It turns out an animal had stepped on the wires and shorted out the circuits to the motor which was the cause," Ratchford said. "We got the kids out of the building but it was actually pretty uneventful."
Berlin Fire Departments responded to the call as well as Connecticut Light and Power.