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COLLATZ, James 1964-1973

COLLATZ, NEESSEN

Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 4/22/2016 at 09:50:10

Father Burned in Rescue Attempt

Boy Killed in Fire

An eight-year-old Waterloo boy died early yesterday morning in a fire that had trapped him in his bedroom at his home at 1133 Lincoln St.

Dead is James Collatz, the foster son of Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Neesen. County medical examiner Dr. Paul O'Keefe said the boy had died from suffocation and massive burns.

The boy's foster father sustained burns to his face, hands and chest while attempting to rescue the boy. He was taken to Allen Memorial Hospital where he was reported in satisfactory condition yesterday.

Brother Escapes
A Waterloo fire department spokesman said the boy was found in his bed by firefighters who had responded to the fire call at 12:29 a.m. yesterday. A foster brother, Edward, who reportedly shared the bedroom with James escaped the fire that caused extensive damage to the room.

The victim's foster father was able to fight his way into the bedroom and had managed to pull a blanket off James but was forced back by the heat and flames, according to fire officials.

Blaze Confined
The cause of the fire was still undetermined yesterday and fire officials were investigating. No estimate of loss had been made, however the blaze was confined to the boy's bedroom.

James Saved Others
Mrs. Neessen credited her foster son, James, 8, who lost his life in the flames, and her nine-year-old son, Edward Thomas Neessen, with saving the lives of the rest of the family.

"Jimmie and Eddie were sleeping together downstairs when the fire woke up Jimmie," Mrs. Neessen said. "Eddie told us that Jimmie insisted that Eddie go and wake up the rest of the family, but Jimmie, himself was frozen with fear so he could not move." Jimmie tried to get up and Eddie tried to pull him with him but he couldn't."

Edward ran upstairs where the rest of the family was asleep. Neessen ran downstairs and tried to reach James, but the boy was burned so badly he could not get him out of the flames.

One Daughter Not Home
Sherry Lynn, 8, another daughter, was the only member of the family who was not in the house at the time. She was at a friend's home. Those who were in the Neessen house when the fire broke out were Mr. and Mrs. Neessen; Tamara Ann, 10, and Cindy Lou, 4, along with Edward; and Mrs. Neessen's brother, Donnie Lockhart of 3202 Franklin St.

Floyd W. Neessen, the foster father of the fatally burned boy, is a Sergeant First Class in the U.S. Army, home on emergency leave from Stuttgart, Germany. He was here because of the illness of his mother, Mrs. Carrie Neessen of 418 Cutler St., who is a patient at Allen Memorial Hospital, receiving treatment for a heart ailment. Sgt. Neessen is now in the same hospital being treated for his burns.

Both From Waterloo
Both Sgt. and Mrs. Neessen are natives of Waterloo. They attended East High. They have lived at Davenport and recently were stationed in Arizona. About seven and a half years ago they were in Germany for nine months. He has been in the Army about 12 years.

The Neessens had James as a foster son since he was three years old.

"He was just like our own son and we planned to take him and all of the children to Germany to be with Floyd this summer," Mrs. Neessen said.

--Waterloo Daily Courier (Waterloo, Iowa), 25 March 1973, pg 1, 14

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Funeral arrangements are pending at the O'Keefe & Towne Funeral Home for eight-year-old James Collatz, who died of burns suffered in a fire at 1 a.m. yesterday at the home of his foster parents, Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Neessen, 1133 Lincoln St.

He was born on Dec. 21, 1964, at Davenport. Surviving are his foster parents, Floyd and Betty Lockhart Neessen; one foster brother, Edward Thomas Neessen and three foster sisters, Tamara, Shery Lynn and Cindy Lou, all at home.

--Waterloo Daily Courier (Waterloo, Iowa), 25 March 1973, pg 14

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Funeral services for eight-year-old James Collatz will be Wednesday 1 p.m. at O'Keefe & Towne Funeral Home.

The Rev. Donald B. Manworren, pastor of Central Christian Church will preside at the ceremonies.

Interment will be in St. Paul's Cemetery, Wellsburg.

The Collatz boy died as the result of burns sustained in a bedroom fire at his home, 1133 Lincoln St. Saturday.

He was the foster son of Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Neessen.

--Waterloo Daily Courier (Waterloo, Iowa), 27 March 1973, pg 5


 

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