Two Kansas City, Missouri, firefighters die when part of building collapses

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — His voice breaking with grief, the Kansas City, Missouri, fire chief gave more details Tuesday morning after an apartment fire took the lives of two firefighters.

Larry J. Leggio and John V. Mesh died after part of an apartment building collapsed Monday night as crews were pulling back from the unstable fiery blaze, said fire Chief Paul Berardi.

Leggio and Mesh died at the scene, the fire department said Monday, and two firefighters were taken to the hospital. Both are expected to recover, Berardi said.

Embargoed to Kansas City, MO Two Kansas City, Missouri, firefighters have died after part of an apartment building collapsed on them and two of their colleagues during a fire. The crews were pulling back from the unstable structure when a wall gave way. Credit:	KCTV

Embargoed to Kansas City, MO Two Kansas City, Missouri, firefighters have died after part of an apartment building collapsed on them and two of their colleagues during a fire. The crews were pulling back from the unstable structure when a wall gave way.
Credit: KCTV

Berardi said firefighters rescued two people from the second floor of the building.

“The outpouring of condolences has been amazing,” said an emotional Berardi, who took long pauses to collect himself as he spoke. “The compassion of the community has been amazing.”

He said he was proud of the professionalism the rest of the firefighters displayed at a time of tremendous sadness and shock. Many were at the hospital through the night, he said. Some are probably still there.

Embargoed to Kansas City, MO Two Kansas City, Missouri, firefighters have died after part of an apartment building collapsed on them and two of their colleagues during a fire. The crews were pulling back from the unstable structure when a wall gave way. Credit:KCTV

Embargoed to Kansas City, MO Two Kansas City, Missouri, firefighters have died after part of an apartment building collapsed on them and two of their colleagues during a fire. The crews were pulling back from the unstable structure when a wall gave way.
Credit: KCTV

“It’s difficult when you live with somebody for 24 hours a day, and you’re laughing and joking one minute and then something like this happens in the line of duty,” Berardi told CNN affiliate KCTV-TV. “What’s good for their families to remember is that they did not die in vain.”

 

Get the latest on this fire from our partners in Kansas City at FOX4KC.com.

4 comments

  • Mel Diablo

    These are the TRUE heroes of emergency service personnel, along with the paramedics. These are the people that truly care for you and your family. Regardless of whether the situation is dangerous these men and women head into the danger knowingly and help ANYONE, friend or foe on need. We hear occasionally of police helping, bit these brave souls are REALLY the ones who save others. The few stories of police ACTUALLY saving people a always stealing the spotlight from these true humanitarians. It is their countless experiences we so rarely get to shed light on. My heart goes out to them and their families in this most difficult and painful of times. Take comfort in knowing that they died doing what almost none do these days, truly appreciate and care for any and all of God’s creatures, man, woman, child, animal, friend or foe. They will definitely be greeted by the creator at the gates of heaven for their ultimate sacrifice. Rest In Peace Heroes!

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