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Cornell firefighter in critical condition after gun discharges during fire

Cornell Firefighter Justin Fredrickson
Cornell Firefighter Justin Fredrickson(Cornell Area Fire Dept.)
Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 9:59 PM CST
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CORNELL, Wis. (WEAU) - UPDATE: The Cornell Area Fire Department says there are a lot of questions regarding where to send donations for hurt firefighter Justin Fredrickson. Donations can be made at any Northwestern Bank location to Cornell Volunteer Fireman (memo: Justin Fredrickson).

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A western Wisconsin firefighter is in critical condition after a firearm discharged at the scene of a fire.

Cornell Area Fire Department Chief Dennis Klass says the Cornell and Sheldon Fire Departments were called to a structure fire in the Township of Willard on Friday, February 19.

Klass says the Cornell Fire Department responded with two water tenders and manpower, including 35-year-old Justin Fredrickson. Fredrickson is a 16-year veteran of the Cornell Fire Department.

As Fredrickson was operating on a hose line outside of the structure, a loaded firearm inside the structure discharged. The bullet traveled through an exterior wall, and hit Fredrickson in the stomach.

The gun fired due to heat conditions caused by the fire, not by the intentional actions of a person.

Sheldon EMS started caring for Fredrickson at the scene. He was taken to a Ladysmith hospital. He was then airlifted to Mayo Clinic Hospital in Eau Claire where he underwent surgery.

As of Tuesday night, Fredrickson required a second surgery with a third surgery scheduled soon. He is currently listed in critical condition.

Cornell Fire
Cornell Fire(WEAU)

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