Stray bullet strikes firefighter

Members of several area fire departments respond to a structure fire in the W7800 block of County D, Conrath. While firefighters were on scene, a loaded .38 Special revolver discharged due to heat conditions caused by the fire, not by the intentional actions of a person. A Cornell firefighter was seriously injured.


A member of the Cornell Fire Department was injured while responding to a structure fire in the W7800 block of County D, Conrath, Friday, Feb. 19.

During the course of extinguishing the fire, a 38 Special revolver went off due to the fire and caused injury to one member of the Cornell Fire Department. According to the dispatch report, the injury will be required to be investigated by the Department of Justice.

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, Cornell Fire Chief Denny Klass said.

According to the Rusk County Dispatch Report, a water shed next to a home caught on fire. The fire was caused by a heat lamp in the shed, according to Sheldon Fire Chief Chad Jones.

Firefighters from Jump River, Cornell and Ladysmith fire departments responded to provide mutual aid to the Sheldon Fire Department with the support of additional tankers.  The fire spread to the nearby home.

According to Jones, the home is a complete loss. All family members and animals were removed from the home for safety when the shed first caught on fire.

Also responding were the Rusk County Ambulance and Rusk County Sheriff’s Office.

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