News: Abbotsford - Fire Destroys Theater (Mar 2012)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Kampmeyer, Apfelbeck

----Source: Thorp Courier (Thorp, Clark Co., WI) 3/07/2012

Fire Destroyed Abbotsford Theater (Colby Man Dead - 2012)

Authorities were on the scene on Monday, March 5, investigating the cause of an Abbotsford fire that left a firefighter dead and destroyed a historic theater.

The fire in Abby Theatre, in the 200 block of North First Street, took hours on Sunday, March 4, for the firefighters from the Abbotsford, Colby, Owen-Withee-Curtiss and Dorchester fire departments to extinguish. Firefighters responded at 12:16 p.m. and had put out most of the fire by 4:00 p.m. The theater’s roof collapsed during initial fire suppression efforts, trapping three firefighters inside.

Authorities say the firefighter who died battling a blaze at a historic Wisconsin theater also was a Marathon County Sheriff’s Deputy. Deputy Sheriff Jamison Kampmeyer and two other firefighters ere trapped inside Abby Theatre in Abbotsford on Sunday.

Kampmeyer died inside. The other two firefighters were treated and released after being hurt by falling bricks. Abbotsford Fire Chief Jody Apfelbeck says 50 firefighters were at the scene Sunday.

The Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms are investigating the cause of the fire.

Kampmeyer, 34, was a father of three young children and a Colby volunteer firefighter who joined the sheriff’s department in 2004, where he was an emergency medical technician on the sheriff’s SWAT team.

The other two trapped firefighters later were treated for their injuries and released Sunday from Ministry Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Marshfield.

Two other firefighters hit by falling debris also were treated and released Sunday.



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