Community pancake dinner raises $11,778 on eve of fallen Peculiar firefighter's funeral

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PECULIAR, Mo. -- Friends family and firefighters from around the metro paid their respects to Chuck McCormick on Friday before the West Peculiar Fire Protection District sounds his last alarm Saturday morning.

"First responders, we are all a brotherhood. So when one of us goes down, it hurts us all," Cass County Deputy Troy Floyd said. "It's been an emotional roller coaster. You don't think someone is going to come in three weeks could be gone so quickly."

McCormick died Sunday while fighting a house fire when he fell through the floor.

On Friday at Abundant Life Church in Lee's Summit, firefighters in Class A Uniforms with shrouded badges stood on what's called casket watch, before the firefighters walked one by one past their brother.

"We all need to be there and support one another. We do that when we go into the house fires, and we also need to do that during the funeral as well," Drexel Fire Chief Bob Strange said.

Because of the nasty weather, volunteer firefighters in Drexel, Missouri, couldn't make the hour drive to the wake. So they went to a benefit dinner in Peculiar instead where the Lions Club was serving up pancakes, and people filled a pair of large jars with mostly $20s and a few $50s and $100s.

"Everybody's coming together, which is awesome. 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," Kim Roberts said.

Roberts owns Peculiar Games and Hobbies. The store will donate 100% of proceeds Saturday to the firefighter's family.

Friday's fundraiser helped two families, McCormick's wife and three children, and the six people who lost their home in that fire McCormick was trying to put out. The pancake dinner raised $11,778.

Funeral services for McCormick will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday morning at Abundant Life Church in Lee's Summit. A procession of fire trucks and other apparatus will then help escort him to a private burial.

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