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14 January 2014, 16:48
A squirrel in Hartlepool caused thousands of pounds worth of damage after falling down a chimney.
Margaret Bousfield said that, in its efforts to escape, the squirrel ransacked her living room by clawing the curtains, soiling the carpets and ruining a sofa.
After tumbling through the fireplace, the squirrel triggered the burglar alarm, leaving the 64-year-old in fear she was being robbed.
But, on coming down the stairs, she found the squirrel causing what would end up being £7,000-worth of damage.
After a neighbour came in to help, a window was opened and the squirrel made its escape.
She told the Hartlepool Mail: "The disruption was unbelievable. My first thought was 'I'll just clean this up'. I didn't realise how long the damage would take to sort.
"The squirrel was going wild but (the neighbour) managed to open a window and it was covered in dirt and it shot from the house like a bullet.''
She said she has now refurbished the room and the costs were covered by her insurance.