Fire investigators comb through rubble layer by layer, work to figure out cause of fire and collapse

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It has been four days since a fire on Independence Avenue destroyed an apartment building Monday night, killing two Kansas City, Missouri firefighters.

Audiotapes released by the KCFD on Friday illustrate the efforts to save their fallen brothers, and the family who owns the building has a special message for their families.

Fire investigators were able to walk among the rubble on Friday, and were going through the roof, into the third floor.

The only thing that they have ruled out is an “act of God,” like lightening, but all other possibilities are still on the table, and as a result the burnt and destroyed building remains a crime scene.

As investigators continue their physical task, the emotional recovery continues as well for the fire department, the community and for the Tran family, who owns the building at the center of the fire investigation.

“They saved two Vietnamese tenants of ours and then they lost their lives,” said Linda Tran, the building owner’s daughter.

Tran says her and her family gather at her father’s house every night to pray for Larry Leggio and John Mesh, who saved two people from the burning building just before the commander called for everyone to get out.

The building cleared, then collapsed, but instead of crumbling down, the east wall blew out, trapping four firefighters, including Leggio and Mesh, who were standing in the alley.

Dispatch audio tapes illustrated the race to save the firefighters.

“Mayday, Mayday, Mayday,” can be heard on the tapes. “Command safety, we’re gonna, four firefighters down this time. We are gonna need four transport units for firefighters.”

“These two firefighters died selflessly to help us,” said Tran. “We just pray every night for these firefighters. And they are angels.”

The ATF is going to shut down operations at 10:00 Saturday morning, so they can attend the memorial service for Leggio and Mesh. The scene will stay quiet throughout the day. They will resume operations at 8 a.m. Sunday.



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