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Spaghetti dinner benefits family of Mahaffey junior firefighter killed in freak accident

A Clearfield County community continues to mourn the loss of a 15-year-old junior firefighter killed in a freak accident late last month. (WJAC)

MAHAFFEY – A Clearfield County community continues to mourn the loss of a 15-year-old junior firefighter killed in a freak accident late last month.

On Sunday, the Mahaffey Fire Department held a spaghetti dinner and basket raffle to benefit the family of Thane Lucas.

Police said Lucas, a junior firefighter with the Mahaffey Fire Department, was putting bags in a metal barrel when something inside it exploded.

An item struck Thane in the neck and he died of his injuries later at the hospital.

Members of the community came together Sunday for the spaghetti dinner fundraiser.

"I'm heating on the stove and then we're dumping into the roasters. We've been so busy," said Fire Department support staff member Dottie Brink, who helped in the kitchen and spent time remembering Thane.

"I was at the funeral service, and it just brought tears to my eyes, to see all those firemen, and to honor him. And he was such a nice boy," Brink said.

"Thane was a great kid. Anything you asked the kid to do, he would do it for you,” fire Chief Bryan Sheeder said. “He would always put a smile on anybody's face."

Sheeder said it's a tough loss for the community and the fire company.

"This means so much to me, that this community came together and pulled through this time, and I'm very grateful for that," Sheeder said.

Organizers said they expected about 400 people to show up throughout the day, all in support of the Lucas family.

"They need all the support they can get,” Tammy McGee said. “And they need a lot of prayer, you know, and help and stuff from their community. And it definitely was a freak accident. And it's a hard thing to watch a family go through."

"It means a lot to be part of a community that does come together to help each other," Jennifer Imes said.

And through the dinner and the basket raffle, donations poured in from local families and businesses who wanted to do their part to remember Thane and help his family.

"This is an excellent community. When something happens, they all pitch in. Churches, groups, families, it's really great. I'm glad I live in Mahaffey," Brink said.

If you would like to donate, the fire chief says they are selling memorial stickers for helmets and windows on the department's Facebook page.

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