A Belton man who neighbors said used two canes to get around died when a fire engulfed his mobile home Thursday.
Neighbor Josh Robertson was leaving home to get breakfast when he heard a popping noise, looked around the corner and saw flames coming out the windows of the victim’s home on Iris Lane, just south of Springdale Drive. Robertson said he called 911 at 8:33 a.m.
Another neighbor head popping noises, too.
“We woke up to ammunition going off,” said Ann Deal, who has lived for four years in the mobile home immediately south of the one that burned.
Deal described the victim as an older man who received Meals on Wheels. He did not have natural gas or water services, and he heated his home with space heaters, Deal said.
Kevin Livingston, Belton deputy fire chief, confirmed there was one fatality in the fire, though he declined to identify the person.
“The cause of the fire is still undetermined,” Livingston added.
One longtime friend identified the victim as a Navy veteran who had worked for a survey company but retired several years ago because of issues with his feet and legs. Because of his health, he hadn’t been able to do much of anything in recent years, the friend said.
Firefighters said the popping sound heard during the fire probably was ammunition stored in the home, Livingston said.
“Law enforcement got there a little before us, and that was their interpretation,” Livingston said.