KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It has been six years since Kansas City, Missouri, firefighters Larry Leggio and John Mesh died battling a blaze intentionally set inside a nail salon in the 2600 block of Independence Avenue.
Leggio, a 17-year KCFD veteran, and Mesh, a 13-year veteran with the department, were killed when the side of the building collapsed on Oct. 12, 2015.
KCFD honored Mesh and Leggio with a memorial post Tuesday on its Facebook page: “We remember the sacrifice of John V. Mesh and Larry Leggio. We will Never Forget the service they gave to this KCMOFireDept and to #KCMO.”
Leggio and Mesh grew up in the Northeast neighborhood where the fire occurred.
A permanent memorial plaque in honor of Mesh and Leggio was placed at the site in 2016.
KCFD also reviewed and altered its policies for communicating collapse-zone declarations among other recommendations made by an investigative panel after the line-of-duty deaths.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health also made a series of recommendations as part of a 74-page report, which included input from the Mesh and Leggio families.
The plaque originally was placed as the Kansas City Museum as part of an exhibit, “In the Line of Duty: A History of the Kansas City Fire Department,” before being installed at building site.
Mesh and Leggio died during the Kansas City Royals’ 2015 playoffs run, which culminated in a World Series title. The team honored their sacrifice throughout the postseason.
A public memorial service for Leggio and Mesh took place at the former Sprint Center.
Thu Hong Nguyen was convicted in July 2018 of two counts each of second-degree murder, first-degree arson and second-degree assault for starting the fire as part of an insurance scam.
Two other KCFD firefighters were injured in the fire.
Nguyen was sentenced to 74 years in prison by a Jackson County judge.
She had a history of buying nail salons, which later burned in fire or suffered another catastrophe that netted her a profit from insurance payments. That includes “a ransacking burglary” at a Grandview nail salon in June 2011 and a fire at a Lee’s Summit nail salon in July 2013.