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

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Idaho Falls Fire Department

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — 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.