Two days ago, a huge fire ran rampant through the buildings situated at 48th and Belleview in Kansas City, Missouri. This location is just west of the beautiful Country Club Plaza which features fine shopping, dining, and offices. The cause of the fire was an accidental hit on a gas line. This caused an explosion and the resulting fire.
JJ's Restuarant, housed on the corner, was a total loss. This popular restaurant had been in business since 1985 and a good customer following. It was in this restaurant that one body was found after the fire was out. Firefighters had searched through the rubble with flashlights and cadaver dogs throughout the night. The way this whole tragedy occurred, it is amazing that only one person was killed; but that death is one too many. Fifteen people were injured; some with serious injuries and some listed as critical. It is our hope that they will each recover from whatever types of injuries were incurred.
Other offices, shops, and apartments in the surrounding area suffered damage from the force of the explosion and fire. Some windows were broken or blown out. Pictures and other items fell off of walls. Structural damage is a concern, as well. The whole scene is melancholy at best.
Great appreciation needs to be given to the Kansas City firefighters who worked long hours in the cold to put out the huge fire, searching through the rubble afterward, and everything else that they went through. Missouri Gas Energy workers were kept busy checking area homes, offices, and apartments for possible gas leaks of people who were concerned about the odor of gas that permeated the surrounding area. The mayor of Kansas City, Sly James, was on the scene and expressing his concern for those who may have been inside the restaurant at the time of the explosion. Much gratitude is due to all of those involved in the reporting of the story, those who cared for the injured, for the Q Motel offering assistance to those who were not able to return to their homes that night, and many others. Kansas City always pulls together in a time of need and distress.
Sadness and sorrow are overwhelming when thinking of the devastation that occurred because of this accident. The death of the restaurant worker is an even greater loss.
Because of this accident, we are reminded to live each day as if it were a gift--because it is. It is a gift from God. Take the time to let others know how much their appreciated and loved. Wisdom 2: 6-7 says, "Come, therefore, let us enjoy the good things that are real, and use the freshness of creation avidly. Let us have our fill of costly wine and perfumes, and let no springtime blossom pass us by..." (The New American Bible).