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Pre-arrival & post collapse pictures from Abbotsford, Wisconsin theater fire. Blaze killed Colby FD Lt. Jamison Kampmeyer.

Previous coverage of this story here and here

These are pictures are from Julie Miklaszewicz who runs RVing Outpost, LLC – On-Line Store!. Julie was on the scene of the Abby Theater fire in Abbotsford, Wisconsin on Sunday before the first firefighters arrived. She was also there through the collapse that killed Colby FD Lt. Jamison Kampmeyer and injured four other firefighters.

Julie has given us permission to use these photos and has many more pictures from the fire on her Facebook page.


Comments - Add Yours

  • Fire21

    OK,, the typical comments about the guys fighting fire while wearing their safety vests…but they were outside, so it's kind of excusable.  I did see 2-1/2" hoses in use…good choice.  But again there were two guys doing a one-man job on the aerial.
    But, in the name of God, what were firefighters doing inside that building after that amount of fire had attacked it??  They HAD to know that old roof had been severely compromised!  Another life lost on a destroyed building………
    God rest the soul of Lt. Kampmeyer, and heal the bodies of the other 4 injured FFs.

  • ukfbbuff

    My condolences to the friends, family and co-workers of Sheriff's Deputy/Vol. FF Jamison Kampmeyer.
    Please , Let's wait for the After Action Review.

  • Chief 62

    I am once more saddened to open the Blog today and see we have sacrificed another young dedicated local community firefighter, doubly so as he was a full time peace officer and has a young family. Its not time nor place to second guess the IC in charge of this fire scene although I do offer up my prayers he had good reason and logic to have interior crews operating in a building as unique as an old theatre. The change of life, second guessing etc. has just begun and in reality there will be more victims of yesterdays events, we all start our day to give it 100% and do the best we can and that is what needs to be remembered as the days move on, we always hope we never have to face what Abbotsford is facing today.
    From time to time we have to make the ultimate sacrifice for life safety reasons and risks. The tradgedy is what is the value against bricks and mortar. Well I have seen my share of tradgedy over the many years it always hits me hard in the gut when it didn't have to happen. Having transitioned from full time career Chief Officer to Rural paid on call part-time professional Dept. Chief I realize the enormous pressures the local community firefighters face when the bell goes off. I am an advocate of the Safety guru culture and the 16 Steps, we practice it constantly, as I know first hand in smaller venues the call evolution doesn't always allow for the best of applied tactics clases.
    I as a Canadian, have several friends and aqaintenances in the State of Wisconsin and once more feel a kindred connection to another tradgedy in our beloved fire service. There are no doubt many lessons to be learned and in due time your fabulous NIOSH crew will post many of same consistent thread recomendations for us to learn from. Sadly all of this will not bring back the young Lt. Kampmeyer to our present world.
    To the Family, we offer our Condolences and heartfelt sorrow in your immediate loss and the extended community loss. To the Marathon County Sheriffs Dept, we also offer our Condolences and thank you for having one of your members doing double duty in support of his Community, that is truly admirable and a true calling and dedication of service and how many could make that claim. Its not easy to lose a loved one, fellow colleague, and in this case a two hatter who no doubt will transcend over a wide berth of Wisconsin and affect many lives. 
    From my staff, Fraternally and Sincerely Submitted    

  • Anonymous

    fire21 just zip it now isnt the time to critique thank you for your opinion maybe if you were there everything would be ok

  • fire22

    maybe if fire21 was there everything would be ok keep your armchair quarterback comments to yourself unwanted here…a brother died and already comments from the peanut gallery

  • Julie Mik

    I'm not a firefighter, and I don't work in civil service.  However, the pictures you are reviewing belong to ME.  These pictures have been posted with my permission. 
    Quite frankly, I must say that for anyone to argue over them and what was done or not done is not what I expected to see.  I gave Dave permission to post these pictures in the hope that other fire departments can LEARN from them.  I have received requests from all over the country asking for permission to use these photos for training purposes.  I have also submitted all these pictures to the U.S. Department of Justice/State Fire Marshall and met with the investigator from the State Fire Marshall this morning.  
    Do I expect to see some "armchair quarterbacking"?  Absolutely.   Do I expect to see PROFESSIONALS acting like the children on the school bus I used to drive?  Absolutely NOT!  
    Please, use these pictures in the way they were intended — as a tool so that no one in YOUR company ends up like Jamison Kampmeyer.  Use these pictures to LEARN what you believe was not done correctly in fighting this fire.  Use these pictures to SAVE A LIFE OF A FELLOW FIREFIGHTER!   That was the entire reason for my allowing them to be used on this website and any other website that they have been posted on.  
    You have been given an incredible gift.  It's not often that you have the amazing opportunity to learn from any mistake a small town volunteer fire department may have made in response to a fire such as this and have pictures to view of most of the incident.  Use this opporunity wisely and thank God you have been given this incredible opportunity.  Finally, be thankful you are not the one who gave his life for this fire.   

    • Former Chief

      Julie, thank you very much for allowing Dave to post your pictures of this tragedy.  Please understand that we are a very self critical bunch at times, and that our passion for this profession, whether we're paid or volunteer sometimes get the best of us.  I for one whole heartedly agree with your comments and greatly appreciate the fact that someone who is not a Firefighter can see the importance of learning from our incidents.  You cannot believe how rare that is.  When we loose a Brother or Sister Firefighter, our emotions sometimes get the best of us.  Whether we did everything completely correct, or we made mistakes, it is painful and those of us who love to be a Firefighter, loose a piece of ourselves as well.  Unfortunately, we have seen it too many times.  Please do not allow a few insensitive or terse comments to lower your high regard for the fire service.  Again, thank you for your photos and your contribution to the investigation of this incident.  I promise you that we will learn from it.

  • Eric S.

    So we arent supposed to critique and comment when a firefighter dies?? How is it any different than a NIOSH report? He gave his condolences, and has every right to comment his opinion….heaven forbid maybe, just maybe someday we will learn from our mistakes.

  • JC

    One sees many comments regarding decisions and so forth with the "wait for the report" rebuttal, as we seen here. However, the pictures from the bystander and the reports on word are disputable and despite the report, any and every dept should be looking at these pictures, not as a critique, but to train and learn on what they would do.
    Now, reports made were that the roof collapses after an intial attack. However, the pictures show another story. We can see fire from the front prior to the first engine getting on scene. One can see 1 3/4" lines being placed in initial service, the 2 1/2" doesn't come in till later. We can see a couple FFs on a line by the door and then see a line going in the door at the same time the aerial is being raised. We further see a defensive operation  in place with water flowing from the ladder pipe. We also see PPV fans being set up in the front. There are several of these pics and it is after we see the ladder pipe shut down and further into the operation that we see a FF being tended to by an engine and a then the pic of the FF being assisted out of the building. We then see a pic of the medical helicopter coming in.

    Sure call me an armchair QB if you want, but I'm not questioning the decisions. I will say that viewing the pictures and the report that the roof collapsed after an initial attack don't add up. It appears there was defensive operations in place and PPV fans in operation before we see FFs being assisted out. I question that timeline and I have no problem waiting a report to get the answers. We don't know if a MAYDAY was called for or not, no articles are alluding to that.

    However, what I would be looking at is the pictures and taking the tragedy out of the picture and looking at the operations. Is the fire showing prior to the engine arrival an 1 3/4" or a 2 1/2" line for "your" operation? What about utilizing a stinger and hitting the bulk of the fire showing with a deck gun (didn't see that here)? Would you be setting up fans if you didn't know where the fire was?

    Given the trainings out there from scene size ups, reading smoke, positive pressure attack, and so forth, any dept should be able to look at these pictures and learn. In my personal opinion and judging from the pictures, it seems that the collapse did not happen until after the defensive operations. There was heavy snow from days before, you had a lot of water being put on the fire, and you had PPV fans set up. There are several pictures of turbulent dark brown smoke during the defensive attack. It almost seems to me that the collapse didn't occur until a crew was sent in to look for extension and remaining fire. If the pictures are chronological (which they appear to be) they should be speaking volumes to any FF out there to be viewing and asking how they would approach a similar incident. This is not about armchair QBing, I'm not saying what should have been done here, I do have some questions which will have to wait and I am making a hypothesis, but moreso I am asking what you would be doing.

  • BlahBlah

    JC, while your views on the incident maybe correct, did you ever think that these pictures aren't time and date stamped (or atleast not that I've been able to find) and that they are possibly out of order? I don't disagree that at times we are the worst at learning from our mistakes, but Jesus can't you all allow this man to be laid to rest and his Department have a little time before you start tearing into their operations? NIOSH will do a fine job of it on their own without the assistance of the people on this Blog. Lastly, Dave you do a great job, But… I maybe completely wrong about this, but that last picture of the Firemen being assisted out of the Building shares a rather striking resemblence to the Lt. If that's him (again I'm not sure) but if it is him could you take that picture down? If I'm correct I'm sure it wasn't done on purpose, but still it's just a respect thing!!!

    • dave statter

      Before publishing that picture, I checked on it myself and was told clearly it was no the lieutenant.

      Thanks though for asking the question.


  • BlahBlah

    Thanks Dave. Like I said, I'm sure if it was him it wouldn't have been done with any disrespect, but they do share a rather striking resemblence.  

  • aron doge

    eating pork tonight

  • aron doge

    piggy roast

  • BlahBlah

    aron… I’m not sure what your trying to say with your comments, but thats very very poor taste and choice of words considering the topic of this article. I truly hope you weren’t attempting to make the joke I think your trying to make.

    Dave, maybe someone Official should have a little side conversation with Mr. doge.