Kansas City firefighter opens up one year after tragedy - KCTV5

Kansas City firefighter opens up one year after tragedy

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"You go and you take the call and that aspect is done, and you wait for the next one,” Kansas City Fire Department firefighter Chris Anderson said. (KCTV5) "You go and you take the call and that aspect is done, and you wait for the next one,” Kansas City Fire Department firefighter Chris Anderson said. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

It's been a little over a year since a fire claimed the lives of Kansas City firefighters Larry Leggio and John Mesh. But other lives were forever altered that night as well.

It was a tragedy that rattled the community more than a year ago. Today, a memorial sits where firefighters rushed into a burning building.

"You go and you take the call and that aspect is done, and you wait for the next one,” Kansas City Fire Department firefighter Chris Anderson said.

But on Oct. 12, 2015, Anderson responded to what turned out to be his final call.

An apartment building on Prospect and Independence avenues caught fire on and ultimately collapsed. Burning debris fell on Anderson and three other firefighters. Leggio and Mesh were killed.

"It's also a little bit of a guilt I made it, and they didn't. They had families too,” Anderson said.

Anderson said the other firefighter who survived recovered and could go back to work. On the other hand, the extent of his injuries forced him to retire early. He says his disability pension will only be 62.5-percent of his base monthly pay.  

"I am unable to kneel, crawl, squat work or climb on ladders or aerials, and that's 90-percent of my job,” Anderson said.

Anderson is the sole provider for his family, and without being able to work, the community rallied around him.

A GoFundMe page was created, and in a matter of two weeks, more than $14,000 was raised. It is a feeling Anderson can only describe as humbling.

"We're the ones that help and give, and it's difficult to be on the receiving end,” he said.

Anderson says he hopes this will serve as a platform to help other firefighters in his same situation.

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