Two Kansas City firefighters die while rescuing residents in massive apartment fire

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Kansas City, Missouri, Fire Department veterans John Mesh and Larry Leggio died when a building on the 2600 block of Independence Avenue collapsed in the midst of a two-alarm blaze.

Fire crews responded to the massive fire at an apartment building last night at about 7:30 p.m. The cause of the fire was not immediately known as KCFD and other authorities investigate. About an hour later, the building collapsed. Two other firefighters were injured at the scene.

Firefighters continued to douse the remnants of the blaze in the Tuesday’s early morning hours.

According to multiple reports, the injured and deceased firefighters had rescued occupants of the building just prior to its collapse.

“Unfortunately, situations like this really bring home to all of us the danger firefighters and police officers confront every day,” Kansas City Mayor Sly James said during a Tuesday morning press briefing.

Monday night’s tragedy is believed to be the first time multiple firefighters died in the line of duty at one scene since the infamous 1988 explosion that killed five firefighters. The last time a KCFD firefighter died in the line of duty was January 7, 2011, according to the International Association of Fire Fighters Local No. 42.

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