The fire that destroyed eight apartments in a Holland Township, Mich., building was apparently started by a flaming squirrel. Since the squirrel was set on fire by one of the building’s residents, we’re chalking this up to a case of wildlife revenge.
The guy (we are using “guy” as gender-neutral, because no details about the resident have been released) was burning the squirrel with a propane torch on a third-floor balcony, apparently in preparation for eating it. But the squirrel, having no intention of being eaten, escaped and rampaged through the building with its fur still smoldering. The resulting blaze trashed eight apartments, damaged several others, and displaced a bunch of people, PLUS a firefighter broke a toe.
But we don’t blame the squirrel. If someone were trying to cook you alive with a propane torch, you’d call down righteous flame upon them, too. No, we blame the anonymous resident who looks up to Cletus the Slack-Jawed Yokel as an intellectual and culinary role model. For the squirrel, we wish only the best — that it came through the blaze alive, that it wasn’t traumatized too badly, and that it eventually gets a movie deal for a Hunger Games spinoff called The Squirrel Who Was On Fire.
UPDATE: It has been pointed out to me that POSSIBLY it makes more sense to try to cook a DEAD squirrel, and so maybe this guy is just a dumbass who lit his balcony on fire with a blowtorch. But I much, much prefer the image of the squirrel, merely singed, jumping away and leaving a path of flame behind it. The report doesn’t say, so let’s agree to go with that version, OK?
Flambéd squirrel blamed for building fire, Guardian.