Caretaker credited with saving apartment building

A caretaker at Silbey Manor apartments is being credited with putting out a fire on Thursday morning.
Michelle Milton of the Ely HRA said while putting out fires isn’t part of Brian Boettcher’s job description, “basically he saved our building.”
Milton said a new resident was cooking pork chops and left the apartment for a short time. When she returned the stove had started on fire.
Boettcher heard the commotion in the apartment and went to help.
“He went in and saw the flames and the smoke so he grabbed the fire extinguisher and tried to put the fire out,” said Milton. “He had it out but it started up again so he asked her if she had a wool blanket and he put that on top of the fire and it put it out.”
The apartment suffered fire damage to the stove and the range hood along with smoke damage.
“The new resident had moved here from Wyoming to be closer to her daughter and had just moved into Sibley on June 1. She will go stay at her daughter’s until we can get her back in there,” said Milton.
The state fire marshal was on the scene Thursday afternoon.
“Evacuation was attempted but people didn’t want to leave and that concerned the fire marshal,” said Milton. “Even though the fire was out the alarm was going off.”
Milton said the HRA is planning to formally recognized Boettcher for his efforts.
“We thanked him up and down. It could’ve went out and really done some damage and even took out the second floor,” said Milton.
“The important thing is everybody’s safe and no one got displaced,” said Milton.