Thursday, August 22, 2019
Remembering The Southwest Blvd Fire
A quick tribute to local journalism and Kansas City history as we remember The Southwest Boulevard Fire by way of classic footage, narration and newsgathering.
"It was one of Kansas City's deadliest fires. Six men were killed fighting a massive blaze at a gas station on August 18, 1959. Firefighters ran for their lives when a gas tank exploded sending a huge fireball across Southwest Boulevard. 500 men from both sides of the state line were dispatched to the fire near State Lane Road in Kansas City, Kan. 100 people, mostly firefighters, were injured.
"The men who died battling the blaze were Capt. George Bartels, Capt. Peter Sirna, firefighter Virgil Sams, firefighter Neal Owen, firefighter Delbert Stone and civilian Francis Toomes. A monument paying tribute to their sacrifice was dedicated on Dec. 18, 1999.
"KMBC-TV photographer Joe Adams shot this famous footage of the explosions and fire. Veteran Kansas City newsman Charles Gray narrated the report and is seen in front of the KMBC studios at the beginning of the film. Jeremy Hubbard's report on the memorial ceremony in 1999 is also included here."
Take a look:
Developing . . .