Firefighter in critical condition after gun goes off during blaze, hitting him

The 35-year-old Cornell firefighter is hospitalized in critical condition
Publish date:
Fire, firefighters

A fire caused a loaded gun to go off, critically injuring a firefighter in western Wisconsin, authorities said Tuesday night. 

Justin Fredrickson, 35, is in a life-threatening condition at the Eau Claire Mayo Hospital, according to a statement from the Cornell Area Fire Department. 

The 16-year veteran was responding to a structure fire in Willard Township on Friday.

"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," Cornell Area Fire Department Chief Dennis Klass said in a statement. 

According to online trade publications, fires can cause a gun to "cook off," giving the bullet enough momentum to shoot. 

Frederickson has undergone two surgeries and is waiting for a third, according to the statement.  

"He is in the hospital doing pretty good right now considering all things," his fiancée, Brianna Petska posted on Facebook Saturday. "I would especially like to thank his fellow firefighters and EMTs that helped him get through this!

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-04-14 at 5.09.01 PM

Defense witness: Cause of Floyd's death 'undetermined'

Dr. David Fowler, former Maryland chief medical examiner, said there were a number of possible factors that could have led to George Floyd's death.

Jorge Polanco

Red Sox sweep Twins in Wednesday's doubleheader

The Red Sox defeated the Twins 3-2 in Game 1 and 7-1 in Game 2.

Minnesota Wild

Wild score 3 power play goals in win over Coyotes

Mats Zuccarello scored twice in a 5-2 victory.

Screen Shot 2021-04-14 at 2.38.15 PM

Viral drone video of Bryant Lake Bowl to be auctioned off as NFT

Non-fungible tokens are the latest craze in consumer finance.

kimberly potter

Here's what the manslaughter charge against Kim Potter says

Activists are calling for more serious charges against the former officer.

Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz criticized for comments on 'thoughtful' use of tear gas

The governor is under fire for comments he made Tuesday as protests continue over the police killing of Daunte Wright.

Andrelton Simmons

Twins shortstop Andrelton Simmons placed on COVID-19 list

Simmons is reportedly experiencing mild symptoms.

Screen Shot 2021-04-12 at 8.53.07 PM

Kim Potter to be charged with second-degree manslaughter in Daunte Wright's death

Potter was a 26-year veteran officer before she resigned from the Brooklyn Center Police Department on Tuesday.


Minneapolis firefighter hurt on the job during Christmas Eve blaze

The fire broke out at a building in North Minneapolis early Monday morning.

2 Minneapolis firefighters hurt battling Lowry Hill blaze

The three-alarm fire broke out late Saturday morning.

631 E 3rd St, Duluth, Minnesota

Firefighters locate body after Easter Sunday blaze in Duluth

The fire was contained to a single apartment.

fire, flames

1 person dead, firefighter injured in Columbia Heights fire

The fire was reported around 5:15 p.m. Sunday.


Two St. Paul firefighters hurt battling morning house fire

Firefighters were on the scene for about four hours.

Hennepin County Medical Center, HCMC

Girl in critical condition after being hit by car while skateboarding

The Minneapolis incident occurred at Dowling Avenue and Bryant Avenue North