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Loaded firearm discharges in fire, striking Cornell firefighter

SHELDON, WI — On February 19, 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.

According to Dennis Klass, Fire Chief of Cornell, they responded with two water tenders and manpower.

A 35-year-old, 16 year veteran of the Cornell Fire Department, Justin Fredrickson responded to the scene and was operating a hose line outside of the structure when 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 the heat conditions caused by the fire, and not by the intentional actions of a person,” Chief Klass said.

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.

As of February 23rd Fredrickson required a second surgery with a third surgery scheduled. He is currently listed in critical condition.

Chief Klass asks for prayers for Justin, his fiancée, his family, and the Cornell and Sheldon Fire Department.

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