John V Mesh

Firefighter John V. Mesh and Fire Apparatus Operator Larry J. Leggio died from injuries sustained in a structural collapse while working at the scene of an apartment building fire.

Multiple units were dispatched at 1927hrs on initial calls that indicated fire visible from the structure; additional units were dispatched as the incident escalated, with a full second alarm requested shortly after arrival. Tactical assignments were made, including establishing a Rapid Intervention Team, and crews began operating to effect fire suppression and occupant rescue, rescuing multiple occupants by ladder prior to deteriorating conditions and forcing a shift to defensive operations.

Evacuation was ordered at 1952hrs. At approximately 2007hrs, a collapse was reported on the east side of the building. Two MAYDAY calls were received from the collapse area, indicating firefighters in urgent distress; four firefighters were reported trapped by the collapse. The Rapid Intervention Team witnessed the collapse and held their ground for no more than 10 seconds until Command ordered them to effect the rescue. They located, uncovered and removed several firefighters from the immediate area. The first ambulance transporting a firefighter departed the scene at approximately 2013hrs, arriving at Truman Medical Center (TMC) approximately five minutes later. A second emergency transport left the scene at approximately 2021hrs with arrival at TMC five minutes following. Both those firefighters, Fire Apparatus Operator Leggio and Firefighter Mesh, were pronounced dead at the hospital after paramedics, nurses and doctors had attempted to revive them. A third firefighter was transported to University of Kansas Medical Center at 2023hrs and a fourth transported non-emergency to St Luke’s at approximately 2027hrs; their condition is still to be reported.

The cause of the fatal fire is being investigated by local, state, and federal authorities.

Incident Location: 2608 Independence Avenue (U.S. National Grid: 15S UD 6594 2974)

Department Information

Kansas City (Missouri) Fire Department
635 Woodland Avenue, Suite 2100
Kansas City, Missouri 64116

Chief: Paul J Berardi

Fatality status is provisional and may change as USFA contacts State Fire Marshals to verify fatality incident information.

Age: 39 
Rank: Firefighter 
Classification: Career 
Incident Date: Oct 12, 2015 19:27
Date of Death: Oct 12, 2015 
Cause of Death: Collapse 
Nature of Death: Trauma 
Activity Type: Search and Rescue 
Emergency Duty: Yes
Duty Type: On-Scene Fire 
Fixed Property Use: Residential