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People gather to remember anniversary of Colby firefighter killed in line of duty


COLBY, WI (WTAQ) - It was a year ago Monday when a Colby firefighter who doubled as a Marathon County sheriff’s deputy was killed while battling a movie theater blaze.

Jamison Kampmeyer was one of three firefighters trapped inside, when a ceiling collapsed at the 63-year-old Abby Theatre in Abbotsford.

People throughout central Wisconsin were touched as they remembered a public servant who left a strong impact on the region. Monday, friends and relatives gathered at the Colby firehouse where Kampmeyer was honored once again.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health looked into the blaze, and said the roof’s construction was a factor. But the agency said the big problem was a lack of communication between area fire departments and rescuers.

Officials say that’s been fixed with monthly training sessions.

Meanwhile, Colby High School freshman Jacob Miller has made it his Eagle Scout project to raise funds for a memorial in Kampmeyer’s honor. He started the effort last fall, and has raised $7,000.

Jacob hopes to raise $10,000 so construction can begin this spring. He says the cost can be lowered with donations for brick and masonry work.