The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 9, 2013

House fire near Neosho claims life

From staff reports

NEOSHO, Mo. — A house fire Wednesday night about a mile east of Neosho claimed the life of an elderly man and left his wife hospitalized with burns to her head and arms.

The Neosho Fire Department responded to a call at 8:09 p.m. reporting a fire at 13571 Moberly Lane and found a single-story home fully engulfed in flames.

Chief Deputy Chris Jennings of the Newton County Sheriff’s Department said the emergency workers first to arrive on the scene reported finding 74-year-old Doris Parsons outside the house and trying to break out a window in an effort to save her husband. She was taken initially to Freeman Hospital West in Joplin and later transferred to the burn unit of a hospital in Springfield, Jennings said.

It took firefighters about 50 minutes to get the blaze under control and locate the body of Charles M. Parsons, 80, near a door in the couple’s kitchen.

“We’re assuming that he was probably trying to get out through the garage,” Jennings said.

Battalion Chief Bret Smith of the Neosho Fire Department said a state fire marshal was looking into the cause of the fire.