Body cam video shows dramatic fire rescue

BUTLER, Ind. (WANE) The Butler Police Department on Tuesday released a body cam video that shows one of their officers helping to rescue a woman from a fire that consumed a downtown building late last month.

It was Jan. 30 when a fire broke out inside a building at 117 South Broadway, which included a second-story apartment. The fire injured seven people, as well as two Butler police officers who were first to respond to the fire and helped people get out of the building.

In the body cam video, two Butler Police officers are shown working to rescue people from the fire, including one woman hanging from a second-story window. At one point in the video, the officers push a trailer over to the wall of the building, steady a ladder on top of it and then pull a woman from a window.

No one was seriously hurt in the fire. Most of the injuries were from smoke inhalation, although one person suffered burns to their hands and face. Several people inside the building jumped from windows to safety.

More than 60 firefighters from 17 fire departments assisted.


It’s still not clear what caused the fire. The building was a total loss and will be taken down in the near future.

The woman officers pulled out of the window was Barbara Mynatt. She said Tuesday she doesn’t remember the rescue. Two of her loved ones jumped from the window before her. Officer Adam Watts helped everyone catch them. Mynatt was the last to jump but passed out after getting her dog out of the window. Then Chief James Nichols showed up. They found the old wooden ladder and put it on a trailer so Nichols could reach Mynatt.

Watts described it as a scary and intense moment. “It was just kind of reaffirmed to me that in this job you can be like I was, just sitting there watching traffic, and thirty seconds later you’re staring up at a building completely on fire and people are trying to jump out of it.”

Nichols said they had to act fast. “There really wasn’t time to think. There was only time to react.”

He also said he’s never experienced anything this intense, even after two combat tours in Iraq and 28 years as a police officer. “It was a miracle. It really was. This was probably one of the most intense things I’ve ever been involved in and I’ve been shot at in this job twice.”

Mynatt gave credit to the two and her family who helped with saving her life. Seeing the video showed her what happened and instantly made her emotional. “I just started crying. I was so thankful that the chief was there and did what he did to save my life because if it wasn’t for him, I would not be here today. My kids would be putting me away.”

Nichols echoed the teamwork and sense of community during the fire and afterward. “I am extremely proud as the chief of police of our community and how brave some of the individuals were that day assisting us to save these people’s lives.”


There will be a ceremony in a couple weeks for everyone who was at the fire working to help get everyone out and those who got out.