No injuries from fire

No injuries were reported from a Wednesday afternoon fire that closed down parts of First Street North in Stillwater.

Firefighters battled the blaze for a couple of hours after the call came in at 1:23 p.m., saving the family pets in the process.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, but it’s been reported that it might have been an electrical issue.

Estimated damage to the home and contents is $50,000.

Hugo man still missing

Redivoje Ray Novakovic
Redivoje Ray Novakovic

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office continues investigating leads and possible sightings of a 75-year-old Hugo man missing since Sunday evening, a sheriff’s office spokesman said Wednesday.

WCSO Commander Brian Mueller said investigators looked into a tip Monday that Radivoje “Ray” Novakovic was spotted in northern White Bear Lake Township, but were unable to corroborate the information.

Novakovic’s family reported him missing late Sunday night after Novakovic failed to return to his home in the 13000 block of Europa Trail after going on a walk about 7 p.m. Sunday. Novakovic is 5 feet, 6 inches tall, 160 pounds with grey-white hair and was last seen wearing a maroon shirt, khaki pants and brown or blue hat.

Mueller said the WCSO and personnel from several fire departments in the area spent about 16 hours searching for Novakovic. Washington County Sheriff Bill Hutton and Hugo City Administrator Bryan Bear during a news conference Monday asked Hugo residents to check outbuildings, stored vehicles or watercraft. covered pools or other areas Novakovic might have sought shelter in.

Mueller said Novakovic’s family told deputies that Novakovic is an avid walker who covers up to four miles daily and takes a variety of routes. Mueller added that Novakovic’s good physical and mental health increases the chances he can be located. Novakovic has diabetes, a mild bi-polar condition and has been known to get disoriented.

“Our concern for Mr. Novakovic’s health increases as his time missing prolongs,” Mueller said.

WCSO investigators assigned to the case are meeting with Novakovic’s family regularly as information comes in, Mueller said. Statewide law enforcement agencies and local businesses also have been provided information about the case, Mueller added.

Anyone with information about Novakovic’s whereabouts is asked to call the WCSO at 651-439-9381.