CHICAGO (CBS)– Funeral services are being held Thursday for fallen firefighter MaShawn Plummer.
The 30-year-old firefighter died just days after being critically injured battling a fire in the Belmont Central neighborhood.READ MORE: Bucktown Woman Shaken After Being Carjacked During Saturday Morning Spree, And She's Not The First Victim In Her Family
You can watch the funeral below:
Chicago Fire Department Battalion Chief John Jakubec led the tolling of the bell for Plummer, as firefighters saluted their fallen colleague at the end of his funeral service.
Firefighters then gathered outside the church to begin a procession to take Plummer’s casket to Oak Woods Cemetery for his burial, which will be a private service.
Plummer’s mother, Felicia Townsend Plummer, said her family was blessed to have him in their life, saying “We had an angel amongst us, y’all.”
“I was not worthy. I was not worthy, but God saw fit for me and his dad to raise him to be the man that he is,” she said.
Reading Plummer’s obituary at the funeral service, Gwendolyn Martin said, “He was our hero. Mashawn loved family, and he showed his love every time he could” she said.
“He was a momma’s boy, and didn’t care who knew it,” she added.
Martin said Plummer loved music and comic books, especially Marvel Comics, and his favorite superhero was Iron Man.
“The world is a safer place because the CFD allowed a superhero to do what he loved,” she said.
Chicago Fire Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt called Plummer “a beloved son, brother, grandson, boyfriend, cousin, friend, and colleague.”
“Saying farewell is never easy, and it is made even more difficult because MaShawn was just starting a career that he always wanted. In a short time, he had shown incredible potential. There are no words that can fully make sense of this terrible loss to our department, to our city, and more importantly the loss to the Plummer family,” she said.
Nance-Holt said, after graduating from Quincy University, he took the firefighters’ entrance exam, but it took seven years for him to receive the offer to join the department.
When he got that notice, he was ready to immediately quit his job and show up at the fire academy.
“This is the type of energy that he brought to work every day. That speaks to his dedication and the hard work that he put in,” Nance-Holt said.
Nance-Holt said it didn’t take long for Plummer to make an impression on his fellow firefighters.
“This young strong giant of a man filled a room with his stature, as well as his laugh and smile, and I’m told that at Engine 94’s quarters, he would sit outside and the neighbors knew him. MaShawn also was known to break out in dance, and to lighten the mood at family gatherings,” she said.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Plummer was the first member of his family to graduate from college, and originally planned to become an attorney, but instead decided to pursue his dream of becoming a firefighter.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Dangerous Wind Chills For Next 2 Nights
“Today is a day for our entire city to pause, to pay our respects to his family and friends and colleagues, and for us to reflect on this day, January 6th, about service and sacrifice and pursuit of something greater than ourselves,” Lightfoot said. “Firefighter EMT Mashawn Plummer was a selfless, dedicated, and talented young man who was taken away from us far too soon.”
Lightfoot said Plummer might have had only one year on the job, but will serve as an inspiration for his fellow firefighters and for future generations of the Fire Department.
A group of firefighters closed Plummer’s casket, fully draping the Chicago flag over it as the pastor offered a prayer.
Mourners lined up at House of Hope Church, where Plummer’s body lies in state in an open casket, draped with the City of Chicago flag, and surrounded by memorial wreaths.
Firefighters in dress uniforms take turns saluting their fallen colleague as the church fills ahead of the funeral service.
A fire truck outside House of Hope Church is draped in black and purple bunting, with Plummer’s helmet and bunker gear adorning the front bumper.
Plummer’s dream was to become a Chicago firefighter. He was 30 years old, and had just celebrated his first year with the department when he died on the job last month.
After he died last month, his mother described him as full of life and said she finds peace knowing Plummer died doing what he loved.
Inside the church, there is grief, but there also are fond memories of a young man who gave it all to help others.
From talking to some of the people who knew Plummer, it’s obvious that he was loved and appreciated. That’s why so many came out to pay their respects.
“All of this attention, he’s worth it. Every dime. It’s still not even enough. He’s worth every moment. There’s no way I couldn’t be here to support the family,” said family friend Chonte McClain.
A procession was held for Plummer as his casket was moved from Leak and Sons Funeral Home to House of Hope Church in Pullman.
Plummer leaves behind his parents and four sisters. His great uncle said the one thing that keeps him going is knowing that Plummer died after having fulfilled his lifelong dream of being a firefighter.
“MaShawn has always been the type of guy that’s going to help somebody ever since he was a little guy. My hero. He’s done things in life that I never could have imagined doing. When he got that phone call that he was accepted into the fire department, it was the happiest days of all of our lives,” Willie McCline said.
After the funeral, Plummer will be buried at Oak Woods Cemetery.
Before the funeral, a wake for MaShawn Plummer is being held at House of Hope Church in the Pullman neighborhood. Pastor Rev. Michael Simmons will officiate the services. Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Fire Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt will both give tributes.
— Mugo Odigwe (@MugoOdigwe) January 6, 2022
The procession begins as friends, family and colleagues arrive at the House of Hope Church in the Pullman neighborhood. The funeral begins at 11 a.m.
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We see some vehicles heading into the House of Hope church parking lot this morning.
This is part of the procession for fallen Chicago firefighter Mashawn Plummer. He died last month trying to save others during a basement fire.
— Mugo Odigwe (@MugoOdigwe) January 6, 2022