2 firefighters were in ‘collapse zone’ when they died

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Firefighters Larry Leggio and John Mesh.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Two Kansas City firefighters who were killed when a building collapsed had been positioned in a dangerous place where building debris could fall.

The Kansas City Star reports that the alley where 39-nine-year-old John Mesh and 43-year-old Larry Leggio died on Oct. 12 had been declared a “collapse zone.” Mesh and Leggio were among a half-dozen firefighters working to keep a fire from spreading to an empty grocery store next door.

There is no written protocol at the Kansas City Fire Department dealing with collapse zones. But the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is very clear about what is acceptable inside those zones.

The institute said “no building is worth a firefighter’s life” in a report on a 2012 Philadelphia building collapse that also killed two firefighters.
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Information from: The Kansas City Star