Saying goodbye to West Peculiar firefighter Chuck McCormick, funeral braves snow storm

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LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. -  Family and friends said a final farewell today to a West Peculiar firefighter killed on the job.

Charles "Chuck" McCormick died after falling through the floor of a home that was on fire in Cass County Sunday, Jan. 5.

On Saturday, Jan. 11, Abundant Life in Lee's Summit hosted the funeral for McCormick. The funeral procession of emergency vehicles took McCormick to his final resting place in Raymore.

The media were not allowed into the service in Lee's Summit or to the burial at the cemetery. However, FOX4 did see dozens brave the snow to say goodbye to a man who died protecting others.

The services began at 11 a.m. Even from a distance, the casket of Chuck McCormick could be seen being lifted up by a group of firefighters.

Chuck McCormick was known for a lot of things.

"You could always depend on him to help out with anything that you needed," Cody Smith, who worked with McCormick for a couple years at the South Metro firehouse, said. "He was really good at his job."

Eric Smith was the Assistant Chief for South Metro. He supervised McCormick when he worked there.

"Chuck was unique," he said with a smile on Monday. "Chuck is the only firefighter I met that would wear Ugg boots to work.

McCormick was known for his white-framed sunglasses, his interest in alternative fuels and naming his cars. Now, he's also known for how he died.

The call came out as a fire in a laundry room at a home west of Peculiar. McCormick was the first one through the door. He fell through the floor.

On Tuesday, Chief Bobby Sperry of the West Peculiar Fire Protection District said he was "a great firefighter with good experience. A loss. A loss for me, and we are a small department."

McCormick's death reverberated throughout the area. The community came together as only it could -- in every way. Grocery stores, pancake dinners, and online fundraisers raised thousands of dollars for the McCormick family.

"We were glad to help them out without any hesitation, whatsoever" Chris Handley, the General Manager Holiday Inn Express in Grandview, said.

"Everybody's coming together," Kim Roberts, of Peculiar, said. "You expect that in this town; we do anyway, but it's just great to see everybody coming together and support the family and get behind them as best we can. It's a horrible situation, but we are glad to help them any way we can."

And that help will extend well beyond Saturday's funeral. Because Chuck McCormick was known for a lot of things, and he will now be known as the man who gave his life to help others.

The GoFundMe page set up to help the family during this time has already received more than their goal of $60,000.

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