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Early Morning Peosta Fire Kills One Man

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PEOSTA, Iowa - An 84-year-old man died in a mobile home fire near Peosta early Thursday morning at 13103 Sundown Road

When firefighters arrived flames had already engulfed the mobile home Leonard Behnke was sleeping in. That home sat next to an old house on a farm that had been in Behnke's family for years.

As the mid-day sun shine down on the Behnke family farm, Lonnie Behnke arrived to see what was left of his father's home.

Lonnie Behnke said, "it was his and he worked hard on it his whole life and he loved just being out in the county with his animals and the fields. This is where where he was happy. "

Behnke says his father lived here his entire life. He raised his four children in the old farm house that sits next to the mobile home where Behnke spent his final years.

Behnke said, "he was very stubborn and wanted to stay out here living on his own. So it's not a complete surprise. We tried to convince him to move off the farm, but this is where he wanted to stay. "

His family says Leonard was known as the guy who would help his neighbors any time.

Distant Relative Bob Bremmer said, "If you needed something from him he'll give it to you, no matter what."

Friends say that's just the way it is in rural Peosta and it's why Behnke insisted on staying.

"It's too bad he had to go this way, but he died where he wanted to die," said Behnke.