A massive fire engulfed the block-long structure on the Kansas city’s northeast side. Rapid intervention team of firefighters devised a strategy to suppress the fire and rescue the occupants. The building was already heavily damaged when firefighters arrived. The roof had caved in about 7:30 p.m.and the building collapsed.
When the operation became impossible a defensive stance was taken.
All firefighters were called out and accounted for. The firefighters who saved two residents from a burning apartment building in Kansas City were trapped when the second floor collapsed into the building and pushed the east wall out about 390 feet, trapping four men.
The rapid-intervention team saw the collapse and immediately rushed to rescue the trapped firefighters. The two firefighters, 17-year veteran Larry J. Leggio and 13-year veteran John V. Mesh, were pronounced dead at the hospital. The other two escaped with injuries. In 1988, the explosion at a construction site claimed the lives of six firefighters. The loss of two lives is the next major tragedy.
Describing the incident, a resident said that a smoke alarm sounded and that he was choking as he fled outside to safety. Mayor Sly James said in a statement. “Our condolences go out to the loved ones of those who made the ultimate sacrifice today.” The bravery of firefighters was lauded.