As the fire department in Kansas City, Missouri, grieves the loss of two of its own, the community has shown how much it respects those who put their lives on the line.
Oct. 12 was the deadliest day Kansas City Fire Department has seen for more than 25 years, reports The Kansas City Star. Larry Leggio and John Mesh, long-time veteran firefighters, died 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 show 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 Kansas City Royals and Houston Astros, the Royals called for a moment of silence and brought the firefighters' families onto the baseball field.
The latest gesture in the works consists of residents turning their porch lights red, reports Fox 4 News.
“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 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."