John Kemper, Fire Captain

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Captain Kemper and his engine company were the second fire department unit to arrive at a working fire in a vacant two-story residence. Captain Kemper and his crew donned their personal protective clothing and SCBA. The crew removed plywood from the front of the structure and advanced a hose line to the second floor of the residence.

Captain Kemper complained of shoulder pain and told other firefighters that he was worried that he had reinjured an old shoulder injury. He was assisted by other firefighters and evaluated by emergency medical responders. He was found to be experiencing a heart attack. He was transported to the hospital and treated.

Captain Kemper received a stent at the hospital and was released. He died at home due to consequences of his heart attack on July 12, 2017. The fire was suspected to have been caused by fireworks.

Incident Location: 3622 Pennsylvania Ave, St. Louis, MO 63118 (U.S. National Grid: 15S YC 4088 7491)

Department information

St. Louis Fire Department
1421 N. Jefferson
U.S. National Grid: 15S YC 4255 8104
St. Louis, Missouri 63106

Chief: Dennis Jenkerson

John Kemper was honored on the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland and was included in the USFA’s annual report Firefighter Fatalities in the United States.
Age: 59
Rank: Fire Captain
Classification: Career
Incident date: July 5, 2017 02:36
Date of death: July 12, 2017
Cause of death: Stress/Overexertion
Nature of death: Heart Attack
Activity type: Advance Hose Lines/Fire Attack (includes Wildland)
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Fire
Fixed property use: Residential