Local

Household appliances examined in probe of blaze that killed two KC firefighters

Out of respect for their fallen comrade, Kansas City firefighters placed a helmet and bunker gear in front of Station 17 as the funeral procession for Larry Leggio passed Monday afternoon near 34th Street and the Paseo. Leggio and fellow firefighter John V. Mesh were killed last week while battling a blaze in the 2600 block of Independence Avenue in the city’s Northeast area.
Out of respect for their fallen comrade, Kansas City firefighters placed a helmet and bunker gear in front of Station 17 as the funeral procession for Larry Leggio passed Monday afternoon near 34th Street and the Paseo. Leggio and fellow firefighter John V. Mesh were killed last week while battling a blaze in the 2600 block of Independence Avenue in the city’s Northeast area. rsugg@kcstar.com

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.

The funeral of Kansas City firefighter Larry Leggio was held Monday. Firefighters, police and residents lined the funeral procession route from St. Patrick Parish on N.E. 42nd Terrace to Mount Olivet Cemetery on Blue Ridge Boulevard in Kansas City

“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.

Read Next

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.

Read Next

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.

Brian Burnes: 816-234-4120, @BPBthree

Related stories from Kansas City Star

  Comments