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Woman Accused Of Setting Blaze That Killed Two Firefighters Faces Additional Charges

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Laura Ziegler
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KCUR 89.3 file photo
A fire in the Historic Northeast in October killed two firefighters, Larry Leggio and John Mesh.

A Jackson County grand jury has returned additional charges against Thu Hong Nguyen, the woman accused of setting the fire that killed two Kansas City firefighters last year.

John Mesh and Larry Leggio died battling the Oct. 12 blaze that injured two other firefighters and reduced a 16-unit apartment building to rubble.

Nguyen now faces two counts of second-degree assault for the injured officers. That’s in addition to two counts of second-degree murder and one count of first-degree arson. The grand jury also indicted Nguyen for "causing catastrophe," a Class A felony.

According to court documents, one of the injured firefighters continues to experience symptoms of post-concussion syndrome, as well as complications from a stomach infection. He was buried under about four feet of rubble when a wall collapsed on top of him. The other injured firefighter suffered serious injuries to his lower legs, including five fractures.

Nguyen owned the nail salon where the fire originated. Three other businesses – Speedy Cash Payday Loan, Jackson Hewitt and Gracie’s Store – were total losses, as were the 16 second floor apartments and an unoccupied business with a newly signed lease. Nearby Snyder’s Market, the neighborhood grocery store, was badly damaged. The owners had hoped to reopen by the beginning of the year but say they've been delayed until March.

Nguyen will be arraigned on Monday.

Elle Moxley is a reporter for KCUR. You can reach her on Twitter @ellemoxley.

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