ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Services for St. Louis fire captain John Kemper will be next Thursday and Friday.
Meanwhile there’s still no word on what caused his line-of-duty death a week after he was injured battling a fire.
Because of requirements related to federal benefits, Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson isn’t ready to release the cause of Kemper’s death. But he says the 59-year-old was battling the third fire of his shift when he went down with what he thought was a severe shoulder injury.
“It wasn’t like he, you know, had a small cut on his hand and needed some stitches,” Jenkerson told reporters. “He knew he was in trouble, the medics immediately knew he was in trouble.”
When Kemper was sent home from the hospital, it wasn’t known he was in a critical situation. Jenkerson describes Kemper as super strong, hard working and hard nosed.
“[He was] one of the firefighters who you basically had to grab by the shirt and say ‘take a break John, let the young guys do a little bit right now.'”
Kemper was just months away from retirement.
Visitation for Captain John Kemper will be held Thursday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Harris Stowe State University’s Givens Administration Building. The funeral will also be held there, Friday at 11 a.m.
Kemper’s family asks that memorials be made to Backstoppers or the Midwest Children’s Burn Camp in lieu of flowers.