The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 9, 2013

House fire near Neosho kills man, injures wife

By Jeff Lehr

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 on Moberly Lane and found a single-story home in flames.

Chief Deputy Chris Jennings of the Newton County Sheriff’s Department said emergency workers who first arrived 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 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 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 investigator was trying to determine the cause of the fire.