Kansas City firefighters killed in apartment fire honored one year later

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Wednesday marked one year since Kansas City firefighters Larry Leggio and John Mesh were killed in an apartment fire near the intersection of Prospect and Independence Boulevard.

“It was in his blood it was something he had to do,” Missy Leggio said about her husband Larry.

So Larry Leggio headed out on Truck 2, just as John Mesh did on Pumper 10, to the massive apartment fire the night of October 12, 2015.

Two firefighters killed Oct 12, 2015 fighting a fire: Larry Leggio and John Mesh.

Two firefighters killed Oct 12, 2015 fighting a fire: Larry Leggio and John Mesh.

Most of the dozens of firefighters who fought the fire returned home that night, but Leggio and Mesh didn’t.

“If there was some way that I go back to the day the fire happened, I wouldn’t let you go to work," one of Mesh's daughters told a crowd gathered at the memorial Wednesday.

"But I know he loved doing his job,” she said several seconds later after wiping away her tears.

"That’s one thing that comforts me that I don’t think either one of them would change the circumstances of what happen,” Mesh's brother Jim said.

Missy Leggio told the crowd firefighters have offered her unwavering support in the days and months since her husband’s death, even stepping in to take over his handyman work at home.

Both families said they wish they met under different circumstances but are now forever intertwined in each other’s lives, by a tragedy that touched an entire community.

“It was my biggest fear he would never come home, I’ve lived through my biggest fear I’m hoping he guides me through life fearless now,” Leggio said.

A memorial to the fallen firefighters has been erected at the site of the fire, but visitors must watch their step as it surrounded by fallen bricks and exposed metal left behind by the building collapse. Speakers called on city leaders to create a park in the location, to properly honor the fallen firefighters.