Kansas City firefighters within minutes of escaping collapse
KANSAS CITY — A Kansas City fire department official says firefighters were within minutes of avoiding a building collapse on Monday that killed two and injured two others.
Battalion Chief James Garrett told The Kansas City Star fire officials were establishing a "collapse zone" when the building's wall fell Monday night. Collapse zones move fire crews away from weakened structures that could crumble.
Garrett said all companies were told to move back from the building about 2 ½ minutes before the collapse. At least six firefighters continued to work in an alley inside the collapse zone trying to save a nearby grocery store. He says crews would have been safe if the building had stayed intact for a few more minutes.
The fire killed firefighters Larry J. Leggio and John V. Mesh.