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This memorial is dedicated to the six Kansas City, Missouri, firefighters who gave their lives in the line of duty at this site on November 29, 1988.
In the early morning hours of November 29, 1988, Kansas City Firefighters of Pumper Companies 30 and 41 were dispatched after 911 calls came in reporting a fire had been set to a pickup truck. The fire was set a blaze near two trailers located at a construction site at the 87th street exit of Highway 71 in Kansas City, Missouri. The Firefighters had been warned to approach with caution for fear of explosives, according to Fire Department officials.
At 4:07 AM two trailers containing approximately 50,000 lbs. of ammonium nitrate ignited causing a catastrophic explosion that instantly killed all six firemen from KCFD Pumper Companies 30 and 41.
The explosions shattered windows within a 10-mile area and could be heard 40 miles away. A second blast occurred 40 minutes later, by this time all fire crews had been pulled back. The blasts created two craters, each approximately 100 feet wide and 8 feet deep.
The tragedy made national and international headlines; Fire departments from all over the United States as well as Fire Companies from other countries traveled to Kansas City to pay tribute to the fallen Kansas City Firefighters.
It was later determined that the explosions were acts of arson. After an investigation that spanned nine years, five individuals were charged, convicted and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
In memory of...
Capt. Gerald C. Halloran, 57 years old, Capt. James H. Kilventon Jr., 54, Thomas M. Fry, 41, Luther E. Hurd, 31, Robert D. McKarnin, 42, and Michael R. Oldham, 32.