Investigators searching debris at the scene of last week’s deadly fire in the 2600 block of Independence Avenue paused for five minutes of silence Monday morning in honor of firefighter Larry Leggio.
The workers stopped at 11 a.m., when Leggio’s funeral Mass began at St. Patrick Catholic Parish in Kansas City, North.
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“That just reiterates to us that our focus on this fire is different from a lot of fires we do,” said John Ham, a spokesman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
“With so many fires we do we lose property, which ultimately is replaceable, but this situation is so much different.”
A week after the blaze that killed Leggio and fellow firefighter John V. Mesh, investigators continued to dig through debris, focusing Monday on scorched and twisted household items recovered from the building’s second- and third-floor residential apartments.
When workers encountered items considered of interest, they dragged them onto Independence Avenue and tagged and spray-painted them to denote in which quadrant of the building they had been found.
By Monday afternoon, those items included a desk fan, three toaster ovens and a combination kitchen range and stove. The items sat in the street, surrounded by piles of tangled electrical conduit and wiring.
All waited to be examined by ATF electrical engineers and fire investigators.
“Electrical is usually one of the last things to be ruled in or out, so we will continue to look at everything,” Ham said.
One member of the national ATF response team rested at an area hotel Monday after he was struck by a small loader Sunday. Doctors at Truman Medical Center found only bruises on the man’s leg before releasing him, Ham said.
Brisk winds on Monday limited the use of a crane brought in for moving heavier debris, Ham said. Investigators again led cadaver dogs into the debris, as well a dog trained to detect traces of accelerants, all without results, Ham said.
Investigators hope to rule out some possible causes of the fire by early next week, Ham said.
Leggio and Mesh died when the building’s east wall collapsed during firefighting operations Oct. 12.