A community is mourning the loss of a hometown hero. Jamison Kampmeyer died while fighting a fire at the Abby Theatre in Abbotsford on Sunday afternoon. Kampmeyer served as a volunteer firefighter and an EMT in Colby. He also worked as a Marathon County Sheriff's deputy and instructor at Northcentral Technical College.
Kampmeyer was a father, husband and firefighter -- who lived his life in the service of others.
"He loved his kids, he loved his wife, he loved his job," said Colby fire department chief Ross Rannow. "That's what makes this so very difficult. He was so well liked by pretty much everybody."
His colleagues and friends call his death the ultimate tragedy.
"You talk about the perfect person. Well, we're not all perfect but he was very close to it. He was very close to it," said Rannow. "Very dedicated and truly loved everything he did."
Kampmeyer kept busy in his community. Working as a sheriff's deputy, teaching new recruits and helping others.
"By his choice of profession, you could see he truly cared about helping people and people can see that," said Rannow.
Kampmeyer's example was very visible. The Marathon County Sheriff's department home page shows him handing a teddy bear to a little girl.
"Everybody will remember his smile. He could come out of a fire and take his breathing mask off and there he is -- all full of soot and a big old smile on his face," said Rannow.
Signs around Colby show support for Kampmeyer, his family, and those who served with him -- a reminder that he'll never be forgotten.
"Why do we go into burning buildings when everybody's running out of them? It's a job. Somebody has to do it," said Rannow. "It takes a special kind of person and Jamison truly was a special person."
Visitation for Kampmeyer will be held Thursday from 4-8PM at Colby High School, then Friday morning -- starting at 9:30AM. The funeral will follow at 11AM.
A memorial fund has been set up in Kampmeyer's name. It's at Integrity First Bank on Grand Avenue in Wausau. Donations can be made at the bank.