Chip Imker was a go-getter, always on the move, his family said. And he was doing what he loved: working for himself as a building contractor; raising two sons with his partner at their Chisago County home, and joining his friends as a volunteer member of the Cambridge Fire Department.
Imker, 35, was fatally injured in a fall late Monday while training in rope rescues. According to city administrator Lynda Woulfe, he fell about six to eight feet onto a concrete surface at the fire hall.
Minnesota OSHA is investigating, but there is no indication it was anything but a horrible accident, said Dick Imker, Chip's father.
Imker's roots were in Cambridge, where he graduated from high school. At one time or another, he and his two brothers all worked with their dad, who worked construction in nearby North Branch. He'd wrestled in high school and was a volunteer wrestling coach for the Cambridge-Isanti schools.
Imker's dad said his middle son was ambitious, looking for jobs and working evenings and weekends as he built his business, CAI Construction/CAI Properties.
"I don't think he ever advertised," his father said. "It was always word of mouth."
He loved to hunt deer, moose and elk and used both rifle and bow, his stepmother, Judy Imker, said. He and his partner, Kristin Hill, had two boys, ages 6 and 8.
Imker also is survived by his mother, Susan Rihs, and brothers Chad and Chuck. Funeral services are pending.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Pat Pheifer • 612-673-7252