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COLBY (WAOW) -- Thousands gathered in Colby to bid a final farewell to a fallen firefighter. People across the state have come to know Jamison Kampmeyer and the legacy he leaves behind.
Kampmeyer died while battling a blaze at the historic Abby Theatre in Abbotsford on Sunday. He worked as a volunteer firefighter in Colby. And was also a deputy for the Marathon County Sheriff's department.
At the procession, people watched a seemingly endless line of fire trucks and police cars -- hundreds of them from around the state. The procession lasted nearly two hours. The cars drove to Kampmeyer's final resting place at St. Mary's cemetery in Colby. It was a true example of the impact Kampmeyer had on so many people.
Just before that -- Colby High School was filled with people from across the state. They shared stories of a man whose memory they'll keep close to their hearts.
"When I saw him, I saw a baby-faced kid," said Marathon County Sheriff Randy Hoenisch. "He was about the same age as some of my kids. He just looked younger than his age. You couldn't help but like him. The way he handled himself and treated other people, he earned the respect of everybody he knew."
"Law enforcement, helping people. Fire department, helping people. EMS, helping people. That was his passion," said Colby fire chief Ross Rannow. "He did it well and he still had time to raise three little boys along with his wife. All of the positions he chose are not safe jobs. But he always chuckled and said, if I don't do it, who's going to do it?"
"Jamison worked midnights, the 11PM-7AM shift, and then he would come in here in the morning after working all night long and he would spend four, sometimes more hours working with our students," said Andrew Kleppe, who worked with Kampmeyer at Northcentral Technical College. "He would come in here as bright and as excited and full of energy as someone who had slept all night long and he would work hard. He never complained. He was always cheerful and he even offered to stay after when the students needed extra assistance or had questions."
"You talk about what a good citizen looks like, all you have to do is look at his life and what he was doing in the community and you could put his picture next to that description too," said Hoenisch.
"It's very rare to find somebody with that kind of energy and that kind of attraction for everybody," said Rannow. "He's going to be deeply missed by the entire community."
It's hard to find words to describe everything that happened on Friday. But the one thing that kept coming up through the week -- is how people said they'll always remember Kampmeyer as a hero.
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