When the Kansas City Fire Department (KCFD) lost of two of their own, the local community showed how much they respect those who put their lives on the line.
October 12 was the deadliest day the KCFD has seen for over 25 years. Larry Leggio and John Mesh, long-time veteran firefighters, lost their lives while attending to a fire in a large apartment building, in which the second floor collapsed. Two firefighters were also hospitalized during this incident, and two more were injured by flying debris.
Leggio, whose father was also a firefighter, is survived by his wife and mother. Mesh, whose brother is also a firefighter, left behind a wife and four young daughters.
“It’s devastating,” said Teresa Brown, who lost everything in her second-floor apartment. “My mind’s been concentrating on those firefighters.”
The residents of Kansas City have expressed much support towards their fallen heroes. Caps with a new logo have been designed to honor the firefighters. Shirts, fundraisers, and social media posts have shown firefighters and their families how much the community values their dedication to the city.
Before Game 5 of the American League Division Series between the Royals and Astros, the Kansas City Royals called for a moment of silence and brought the firefighters' families onto the field.
The latest gesture in the works consists of residents turning their porch lights red.
“We want to show the families that they have a whole community behind them. That they’re not alone in this, and then also just to show everyone else that we appreciate what they do," said Kelsey Jantsch, a firefighter's fiancee. She is trying to spread the word about the red porch lights, as she wants to ensure that Leggio and Mesh will not be forgotten.
Fox 4 News asked Jantsch if the incident has made her more concerned about her partner's safety on the job. "I don’t think I thought about it until this happened, and honestly I think we’re just trying to still not think about it," Jantsch replied. "I don’t think it’s hit either of us really. It’s amazing it’s something they chose to do."