Residents recall helpless feeling as apartment building went up in flames

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Monday night’s fire and collapse not only killed two KCFD firefighters, it left a lot of residents homeless. Now, they're reliving what they call their "awful nightmare."

There were desperate pleas from people at 2600 Independence Avenue, as they watched the raging fire eat up the building that collapsed before their eyes. The fire was caught on the cell phone of resident Darryl Bradley. He was asleep on his couch Monday night.

“And the next thing I know I heard my neighbor Theresa hollering and screaming, and she was knocking on everybody`s doors, ‘the building is on fire! The building is on fire!'” Bradley recalled.

He said he woke up surrounded by flames. He ran out of his apartment just in time.

“The only thing I could think about was my son and my mother and everybody that loves me,” Bradley said. “He sent that angel to me, because if it wasn`t for her, I would not be here.”

“Ten seconds later that whole floor collapsed, because it was on fire,” he continued.

Bradley said he felt helpless as he watched firefighters battle the flames.

“They came in and stormed, they stormed it,” Bradley said.

John Mesh and Larry Leggio

John Mesh and Larry Leggio

The firefighters rescued his neighbors who could not get out. Firefighters Larry Leggio and John Mesh lost their lives shortly after the last resident was pulled from the building when it collapsed.

“They didn`t know nobody in that building, but they care for everybody and they was not going to let one person die. And for that I am very appreciative,” Bradley said.