Man runs into burning building twice to save beer, police say

by: Theresa Seiger, Cox Media Group National Content Desk Updated:

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - A man faces obstruction charges after police in South Dakota said he ignored orders from firefighters and ran twice into a burning building to “save” his beer.

Sioux Falls police spokesman Officer Sam Clemens told KELO that Michael Casteel, 56, ignored a police officer who tried to stop him on Sunday from running into a burning apartment building. He ran into the building a second time, despite protests from firefighters battling the flames, police said.


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On his second exit, Casteel carried a pair of Bud Ice beers with him, KELO reported.

“It is not advisable to push past (police) and (firefighters) in an attempt to ‘save your beer,’” police said Sunday afternoon in a tweet.

Authorities determined Casteel had a blood-alcohol content level of .082 percent, KELO reported. He was charged with obstruction and violating a 24/7 sobriety program.

Firefighters saw smoke coming from the first floor of an apartment building at 321 N. Spring Ave. just after 12:30 p.m. Sunday while responding to a report of a structure fire, Sioux Falls Fire Rescue said. Residents had pulled one person from the building. 

The fire was extinguished within 10 minutes, firefighters said.

Two people were treated for smoke inhalation. One person was taken to a hospital for treatment after suffering smoke inhalation and burns, according to fire officials.

No authorities were injured.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.