FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 25, 2016
KCFD releases internal investigation report
Fatal fire leads to recommendations for improvements
The Kansas City Fire Department (KCFD) today released the report of its internal investigation into the circumstances surrounding the loss of two firefighters and injury of two others on October 12, 2015. Fire Apparatus Operator Larry Leggio and Firefighter John Mesh were killed when a 100-year-old building collapsed during an arson fire; two other firefighters suffered severe injuries.
The report is the product of nearly six months of detailed research and analysis conducted by a team of experienced KCFD professionals. It reflects systematic review and in-depth examination of essentially all KCFD policies, directives and procedures related to structural firefighting. The report delivers 14 recommendations including policy development, training procedures, operating guidelines and fire scene accountability. Several of these recommendations have already been implemented and work is in progress on the remainder.
“I acknowledge that something went wrong at this fire—two good men died,” said Fire Chief Paul Berardi. “The purpose of this report is to lessen the likelihood of that happening again. Our deepest obligation is learn where we can make our actions safer and more effective, and to ensure that we share those tragic lessons with firefighters everywhere.”
An independent investigation of the incident will also be reported by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health later this year.