The Kansas City community is coming together to honor firefighter Chuck McCormick and help his family. McCormick, who had been working for the West Peculiar Fire District for only three weeks, died while fighting a blaze on January 4.
His funeral was held on Saturday morning at Abundant Life Church in Lee’s Summit, with full professional honors. Gov. Mike Parson ordered all Missouri flags to be flown at hall-staff on Saturday in his honor.
McCormick served with the 1135th Engineering in the Army National Guard from 2011 through 2014. Following his military service, McCormick worked for Cherokee County (Ga.) Fire and Emergency Services from 2014 through 2017. He also served with the South Metro Fire Protection District in Raymore) from 2018 through November 2019.
Several organizations have rallied to support McCormick’s family. At the Country Mart in Peculiar, owner John Turnage said, three of his employees donated breakfast to the fire department out of their own pockets. After that, he decided to start a donation fund at the store. All of the money raised will go toward McCormick’s family, which includes his wife and three children.
“It’s a big loss,” Turnage said. “He had a wife and three kids. I didn’t particularly know Chuck; I think he’s new to the community. But any time you lose a person like that, it’s a really big loss to the community and to everybody.”
The Peculiar Lions Club will held a pancake dinner Friday evening to benefit the family and those who lost their home. “It’s also needed, you know, because we never know when we’re going to need help in life,” Peculiar resident Jeff Gibler said.
At the nearby Casey’s gas station, a jar was set out to begin collecting funds for the family and the fire department. Employee Josephine Smith said the store started the two funds because firefighters, some of whom are regular customers, make a big difference to the town.
“A fireman’s job is important for the entire community, because any time they have to be called out to a situation, it’s always dangerous,” she said.
As of Saturday, over 50,000 has been raised for the family.
–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice