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Investigators search for cause of blaze after West Peculiar firefighter dies on duty

Peculiar fatal fire-Navas9.jpg
Posted at 1:10 PM, Jan 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-06 14:14:21-05

PECULIAR, Mo. — On Monday morning, several fire investigators continued to work at the scene of a house fire in Peculiar, piecing together the cause of a deadly fire that killed 30-year-old firefighter Chuck McCormick on Sunday.

Grandview Fire Chief Ron Graham said investigators have experts analyzing appliances that might have started the fire, though a cause has not yet been determined.

"Every appliance, water heater, furnace, electrical heaters, anything at all," Graham said. "Anything that can cause a fire, they’re going to examine or rule out and that’s their process."

RELATED: Area law enforcement express support for West Peculiar Fire Protection District

Graham said the reason the investigation has taken this long is due to the amount of damage the house received.

"There’s so much water damage that we have to get a pump and pump the water out of the basement," Graham said. "The amount of damage to the structure and the amount of debris that fell through the floor and into the basement area. They try to put all that back and try to place where that stuff is in the basement and try and put it back upstairs to try and reconstruct the scene."

McCormick, who is survived by a wife and three children, was killed after he fell through the floor into the basement of the home.

The house is considered a total loss, and the American Red Cross is assisting the family.

The Missouri Division of Fire Safety is assisting in the investigation, along with the Belton, South Metro and Grandview fire departments.