Wis. Firefighter Dies, Four Injured in Theater Fire

The roof of the Abby Theatre collapsed while firefighters were extinguishing a fire in the building located in downtown Abbotsford Sunday afternoon.


One firefighter was killed and four others injured when the roof of the Abby Theatre collapsed while they were extinguishing a fire in the building located in downtown Abbotsford Sunday afternoon.

Colby Fire Lt. Jamison Kampmeyer was killed in the collapse. He also was a deputy sheriff in the area.

The fire started at about 12:30 p.m., according to The Marshfield News Herald.

All five injured firefighters were initially transported to St. Joseph's Hospital in Marshfield. Four firefighters were transported by ground ambulance and one by helicopter.

Three of the surviving firefighters were released by Sunday night and the remaining firefighter was expected to be released soon after.

The newspaper reported the owner of the historic theater was checking the building’s furnace at about 10:30 a.m. and saw nothing wrong. Two hours later, the fire which nearly destroyed the building was reported.

The theater, which opened in 1949, sustained substantial fire and smoke damage, including the collapsed roof.

"There was a lot of heat, a lot of smoke," Abbotsford Fire Chief Jody Apfelbeck told the newspaper. "It was a bad fire."

Fire departments in Abbotsford, Colby, Dorchester and Owen-Withee-Curtis were on the scene and about 35 firefighters fought the blaze.

Firehouse.com will provide more information as it becomes available.