Man killed in Belton mobile home fire

BELTON, Mo. - **UPDATE: Belton Fire Department Chief Kevin Livingston has identified the man as 65-year-old Danny Emmons.**

A Belton man died after a quick-moving fire destroyed his mobile home Thursday.

It happened shortly after 8:30 a.m. in the 600 block of Iris Lane at the Springdale Lake Estates, near interstate 49 and Missouri 58.    

"It scared me to death; it's the first time I had been close to anything like that," neighbor Sandra Deal said.

For Deal, what started as a morning of catching up on the computer changed within a matter of seconds.

"I heard this ‘Pop! Pop!' and I knew it was sound that I never heard before it was something different and I got up and went to the window and that's when I seen [sic] it," Deal said.

Deal witnessed flames coming from her neighbor's mobile home— at times shooting 10 to 15 feet in the air.
She tried to get inside the burning home. But the fire was too strong, it even damaged her home as well.

"I feel bad that I couldn't help him that I could go get him but I did the best I could," Deal said.

She added the man used two canes to get around.

"He had water delivered to his home, he had meals on wheels," Deal said. "My son used to mow his grass for him. We kind of all looked out for each other and helped each other out if we could."

It took nearly two dozen firefighters to put out the flames and when they did, they found the man's body in one of the hallways.

Firefighters arrived in four to five minutes after receiving the call.

"Obviously days like today show that you got to have that staffing to conduct a full operation," Deputy Chief Kevin Livingston with the Belton Fire Department said.

Deputy Chief Livingston took a moment to point his concerns over the city's upcoming budget negotiations, fearing cuts to the fire department.

The assistant city manager told 41 Action News via e-mail they are in the preliminary stages of recommending a budget to the city council and although department requests are $1.8 million short of projected revenue, they have no specific information on cuts to the fire department.

Local 42, the fire union and the city of Belton will begin budget talks starting Friday.

The state fire marshal is assisting in the investigation to determine how and where this fire started.

Police have not released the name of the victim.

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