Good rescue it was: Yoda the tortoise saved from school fire

Posted at 3:07 PM, Dec 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-21 17:07:35-05

Firefighters have rescued a Russian tortoise named Yoda at an eastern Idaho elementary school, after a heating device caused his habitat to start smoldering.

The Idaho Falls Fire Department says it responded early Wednesday to a fire alarm at Fairview Elementary School in Idaho Falls and found the building filled with smoke.

Crews discovered a smoldering fire in a classroom in Yoda's 30-gallon enclosure and saved the tortoise.

Bonneville School District Superintendent Charles Shackett says a heating pad meant to keep Yoda warm caused the problem. The hand-sized tortoise is fine and back home with his owner, a teacher.

Shackett says he encourages pets in the classroom, but will review animal habitat policies.

School officials say the fire damage is minimal, and the building is being aired out.

(by Associated Press)