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Charles “Chuck” McCormick


At 11:04 a.m. on Jan. 5, 2020, an emergency call was received for a reported structure fire. The fire was reported to be in the laundry room of the home. Firefighter-Paramedic McCormick was assigned to West Peculiar Engine 2 (E2). E2 arrived on scene at 11:16 a.m. and was assigned to interior fire suppression/fire attack.

During fire suppression activities, the captain of another unit reported that a ceiling collapsed, separating him from Firefighter McCormick. A Mayday was called at that time.

Fire conditions were rapidly deteriorating, intense smoke was pushing out of the structure, under pressure. Firefighters from a neighboring agency were assigned to locate and rescue Firefighter McCormick. The fire company assigned to rescue Firefighter McCormick became trapped and also called a Mayday. They were able to self-extract themselves from the entrapment, removing themselves from the structure.

Additional crews were sent into the structure to locate Firefighter McCormick who was still missing. Additional agencies arrived on scene and began additional rescue operations.

Firefighter McCormick was located in the basement of the structure, having apparently fallen through the floor. He was found approximately 90 minutes after he became separated from his crew. Firefighter McCormick was found in cardiac arrest.

Life-saving efforts were performed and he was transported by ambulance to a regional medical center where he was pronounced deceased at 1:28 p.m. His death was caused by asphyxiation due to the inhalation of toxic gasses.

photo of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial
Charles “Chuck” McCormick was honored on the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland and was included in the USFA’s annual report Firefighter Fatalities in the United States.

Department information

West Peculiar Fire Protection District
200 S Main ST
Peculiar, Missouri 64078

Chief: Bobby Sperry

Age: 30
Rank: Firefighter
Classification: Career
Incident date: January 5, 2020 11:04
Date of death: January 5, 2020
Cause of fatal injury: Collapse
Nature of fatal injury: Asphyxiation
Activity type: Advance Hose Lines/Fire Attack (includes Wildland)
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Fire
Fixed property use: Residential

Last updated: August 31, 2021