Loaded Firearm Discharges in Wisconsin Fire, Firefighter Critically Injured

Loaded firearm goes off in house fire and wounds a Cornell firefighter.
(Google/Andy Fallon photo)

Cornell firefighter struck in the abdomen

The Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wis.


Feb. 24—A 35-year-old firefighter with the Cornell Fire Department is in critical condition Tuesday night after a loaded gun discharged a bullet into his abdomen as firefighters fought a Rusk County structure fire Friday.

Justin Fredrickson, 35, a 16-year veteran of the Cornell Fire Department, was operating a hose line outside the structure when a loaded firearm inside the building discharged, the Cornell Fire Department said in a Tuesday evening news release.

The bullet went through the building’s exterior wall and struck Fredrickson in the abdomen.

“The loaded firearm discharged due to heat conditions caused by the fire, not by the intentional actions of a person,” Cornell Fire Chief Dennis Klass said in the news release.

After Sheldon EMS began treating Fredrickson at the scene, he was transported to a Ladysmith hospital, then was airlifted to Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire to undergo surgery.

As of Tuesday night, Fredrickson “required a second surgery with a third surgery scheduled soon,” Klass said.

Fredrickson is currently in critical condition.

“Please keep Justin’s fiancée, his family, and the Cornell and Sheldon Fire Department’s in your prayers,” Klass said. “We will release updates as they become available.”

The Cornell Fire Department was at the scene after the Sheldon Fire Department requested aid at a structure fire in the town of Willard. Cornell had responded with two water tenders and firefighters, Klass said.


(c)2021 the Leader-Telegram (Eau Claire, Wis.)

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