Beldt's Aquarium Owner Remembered on Facebook After Tragic Death in Last Week's Apartment Fire
Thanks to a conversation with our Hazelwood Patch Facebook fans, we learned that the man who was killed in a tragic fire last week was Mike Mansfield, a father, business owner and genuinely nice guy.
As you might know, Hazelwood Patch has an active and community-friendly Facebook page where we share news, tips, laughs and information with our fans. But we also have amazing conversations and make great connections with our Facebook community, and sometimes, we can even offer support and learn something about ourselves and the community.
A recent conversation that happened on Facebook touched me profoundly, and I felt that I needed to share it with our readers who might not already be connected to us there.
A Father, Remembered
After last week’s breaking news about the fire in an apartment complex on Villa Rosa, we were very sad to learn that a resident had been killed in the blaze. A few days later, I posted on our Facebook wall asking if any of our readers knew anyone who lived in the complex.
The first person to respond was Christi Fieselmann, the mother of the victim’s children.
“The victim’s name was Mike Mansfield,” Fieselmann posted. “(He was) 48-years-old (with) two teenage sons. It’s horrific. He is my children’s father.”
I asked her if she’d mind talking to me about him a bit so that I could share his memory and her family’s story with the community, and she obliged. In fact, we’re going to speak soon for an in-depth interview, but she shared some information about him on our Facebook page.
“I want people to know about him,” she said. “It will maybe comfort my sons and me too if there is a positive story about him.”
She said that Mike was a “sincerely nice guy” and that she was busy helping with the arrangements for his funeral. Her older son came home from Army boot camp on emergency leave after only being in the military for four weeks before his father’s death.
“It’s all the harder on him,” she wrote.
Another reader, Linda Smith, posted that Mike would be missed.
“I’m sure many Hazelwood residents know him from going to Beldt’s Aquarium over the years,” she posted. “Still hard to believe he’s gone.”
Candice Brandon posted that Mike gave her and a friend their first jobs at Beldt’s when they were 15.
“It’s a shock to everyone,” she wrote. “He was truly a nice person, funny, who knew lots. I learned a lot about fish and reptiles from him. He will be missed.”
I was so touched by this public display from the Hazelwood community that I’ll be interviewing Christi Fieselmann next week to learn more about the man her children called Dad.
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Do you have a memory of Mike Mansfield? Share it in the comments section, below.