Officers, civilians honored after massive fire in Butler

Local News

Earlier this year flames shot 40 feet into the air from a Downtown Butler building. Instead of running away, a group of people ran toward the building to help save a family inside. That group of people was honored for its heroics and bravery.

An empty space is one of the only reminders of the massive fire that happened on Main Street in Bulter. For neighbor Marie Boes the empty space is a loud reminder.    

“I look outside, and it’s just very vacant,” Boes said. “It’s just not the same.”

Nine people went to the hospital following the January 30 fire. A few people jumped out of windows to safety. Barbra Mynatt barely made it.

“I crawled to the window, threw my dog out, and as soon as I got to the window I blacked out,” Mynatt said.

Police body cameras show Mynatt’s rescue by two Butler Police officers, but also there to help, a group of civilians.

“We would not have been able to save [Mynatt] if it had not been for the help we received from numerous citizens,” Butler Police Chief James Nichols said.

Those citizens, and two Butler police officers– Chief James Nichols and Officer Adam Watts– were honored Tuesday for their bravery. The officers received the Silver Star of Bravery and a life saving award from the American Police Hall of Fame The civilians received a certificate of bravery and Butler Police coin.

“As soon as I was told there were people in the building that was on fire it was how do we get to them and get them out,” Marie Boes, who was honored Tuesday, said.

The group was able to push a trailer to the building, and found an old wooden latter in the alleyway to put on top of the trailer to reach the window. It’s something one person, or even two people, couldn’t have done on their own.

“This is what you’re supposed to do,” Boes said. “You’re supposed to look out for your neighbors.”

Chief Nichols said on that day some may have been strangers, but now, in a way, they’re family. 

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