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Cigarette butt burns squirrel stash

THUNDER BAY -- A North End squirrel has a harsh winter ahead of it after a loose cigarette butt caught fire under a residential deck where the animal was living. Emergency services were called to a structural fire on Shuniah Street at 10:05 a.m.
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Thunder Bay Fire Rescue firefighters attend to a burning squirrel nest under the deck of a Shuniah Street home on Saturday morning. A cigarette butt ignited the nest. (Jon Thompson, tbnewswatch.com)

THUNDER BAY -- A North End squirrel has a harsh winter ahead of it after a loose cigarette butt caught fire under a residential deck where the animal was living.

Emergency services were called to a structural fire on Shuniah Street at 10:05 a.m. Saturday to find a burnt squirrel's nest and remnants of food it was saving for winter. 

"Seems like he (the homeowner) was smoking out on the deck and his cigarette ignited some peanuts a squirrel had been accumulating over the summer months," said deputy fire chief Ed Hill.

"The squirrel has lost its food supply for the year." 

Hill added the smoke hung in the air due to Saturday's weather conditions, making the fire appear a lot worse than it actually was.