CHIPPEWA COUNTY -- A Cornell firefighter is in critical condition after a gun discharged during a fire in the Township of Willard, according to a press release from the Cornell Area Fire Department.

Press Release

On February 19, 2021 the Cornell Area Fire Department was requested by the Sheldon Fire Department for mutual aid at a working structure fire in the Township of Willard.

Cornell responded with two water tenders and manpower. Justin Fredrickson, a 35-year-old, 16-year veteran of the Cornell Fire Department responded to the scene. As he was operating on a hose line outside of the structure, a loaded firearm inside the structure discharged. The bullet traveled through an exterior wall, striking Fredrickson in the abdomen. The loaded firearm discharged due to heat conditions caused by the fire, not by the intentional actions of a person.  

Sheldon EMS started patient care immediately and transported the injured firefighter to a Ladysmith hospital. He was then airlifted to Mayo Hospital in Eau Claire where he underwent surgery.

At the time of this press release, Fredrickson required a second surgery with a third surgery scheduled soon. He is currently listed in critical condition.

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

Per Dennis Klass, Fire Chief - Cornell Area Fire Department


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