'Serial arsonist' sentenced to 74 years for starting a fire that killed two firefighters

'Serial arsonist' sentenced to 74 years for starting a fire that killed two firefighters

A Missouri woman, who set her nail salon ablaze in an attempt to collect insurance money but ended up killing two Kansas City firefighters, has been sentenced to a 74-year-long prison sentence.

Described as a "serial arsonist" by prosecutors, Thu Hong Nguyen was convicted in July twice of second-degree murder, arson, and assault in connection to the multiple incidents involving her, especially the death of the two KC firefighters, John V. Mesh and Larry J. Leggio.

Giving the final decision in the matter recently, Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Joel P. Fahnestock, further decreed for Nguyen to serve her sentences consecutively. 


As per latest reports, Nguyen is to serve 30 years and 15 years for two counts of arson, to run concurrently with the others. While this is not the first case of arson against Nguyen, she is reported to have doused the stock room of her Independence Avenue building with acetone and isopropyl alcohol, before setting it on fire and leaving.  

As the blaze erupted, firefighters Leggio and Mesh responded to the situation and were fatally injured after a portion of the building's brick wall collapsed on top of them. Two other firefighters were severely injured by the intentional fire. 


“So much has been stolen from each one of our lives,” said Missy, wife of 43-year-old Leggio during Nguyen's hearing. "We lost a father, a son, a brother, a husband, an uncle and a beloved friend of so many. Instead of making new memories with John, we talk about the memory of John," added Jim, brother of the 39-year-old first responder, who died in the fire.

Meanwhile, Jackson County Prosecutor Baker is said to have met with the families of both the firefighters following the verdict.

"Our community acknowledges, again, the incredible service of our firefighters, who every day take great risk to keep us safe. Unfortunately, the loss of these two firefighters and the injuries suffered by two other firefighters that night reminds of us of how dangerous their job is. We cannot forget their massive contributions to our community," Baker was quoted as saying. 

Nguyen will be appealing the conviction next week, according to her attorney.  

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 'Serial arsonist' Thu Hong Nguyen sentenced for 74 years after fire kills 2 KC firefighters