The Latest: Firefighters who died were department veterans

AP News
|
Posted: Oct 13, 2015 3:59 PM
The Latest: Firefighters who died were department veterans

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The latest on the collapse of a burning apartment building in Kansas City that killed two firefighters (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

Two firefighters who were killed when a burning Kansas City building collapsed have been identified as longtime members of the fire department.

Fire Chief Paul Berardi says 43-year-old Larry Leggio was a 17-year veteran while 39-year-old John Mesh had worked there for 13 years.

Berardi says two other firefighters were hurt Monday night when the massive fire engulfed the building on the city's northeast side.

Building owner Bo Tran says the building included 16 apartment units, payday loan and tax businesses, a nail salon and a bar.

Tran says he hasn't been told how the fire started.

Berardi says a wall collapsed outward about 30 feet and trapped the four firefighters who had been working to protect a nearby grocery store from the blaze.

___

7:55 a.m.

The Kansas City fire chief says two firefighters were killed when a section of a burning building collapsed, blowing a wall outward about 30 feet and trapping them.

Chief Paul Berardi choked back tears as he spoke of Larry J. Leggio and John V. Mesh who were killed when the wall collapsed onto them Monday night. Two others were injured fighting the fire at the building that had businesses on the ground level and apartments above.

He says the collapse happened after the building had been evacuated and that it appears a second-story section collapsed, forcing a wall outward about 30 feet. The firefighters killed and two others who were injured were outside the building working to protect a grocery store separated from the burning structure by an alley.

___

7:35 a.m.

Kansas City authorities have identified two firefighters who were killed when a wall collapsed on them in a burning building.

The firefighters died Monday night as a massive fire engulfed the building on the city's northeast side.

During an emotional news conference early Tuesday, Fire Chief Paul Berardi identified the firefighters as 17-year department veteran Larry J. Leggio and 13-year veteran John V. Mesh.

He didn't provide their ages.

Berardi says the two died after rescuing at least two residents from the apartment building blaze.

Two other firefighters were injured. Berardi says one has been released from the hospital, and the other may be released Tuesday.

Crews were still at the scene of the fire early Tuesday. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

___

6:45 a.m.

A Kansas City apartment building that collapsed, killing two firefighters, is still burning 12 hours after the blaze began.

Fire Chief Paul Berardi says two other firefighters were injured Monday night as the massive fire engulfed the building on the city's northeast side.

Berardi says the two who died saved two residents shortly before the building collapsed around them. He says they "did not die in vain."