Wisconsin firefighter's death spurs outpouring of support

APPLETON, Wis. (AP) - Other Wisconsin fire departments are offering support to former colleagues of a firefighter who was killed in a shooting at a transit station.

The Neenah-Menasha Fire and Rescue Department sent peer counselors to Appleton and are helping staff their fire stations as the local firefighters attend meetings related to Mitchell Lundgaard's death.

The 36-year-old Lundgaard was the first Appleton firefighter in 86 years to die in the line of duty. The suspect also died in an exchange of gunfire with police Wednesday at Valley Transit in downtown Appleton, and a police officer and bystander were injured.

Green Bay Fire Chief David Litton and the department's union president went to Appleton to support local firefighters. The Appleton Fire Department chaplain was busy helping Lundgaard's family, so Green Bay also sent its chaplain to Appleton, according to Post-Crescent Media .

Fire and police departments across the country expressed their condolences on social media.

"I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the fire departments and law-enforcement agencies across the state of Wisconsin and across the country," Appleton Fire Chief Jeremy Hansen said. "The outpouring of support in this difficult time has been tremendous."

Monetary support for Lundgaard's wife and three children was streaming into a GoFundMe website. Wisconsin native and Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt donated $10,000 to the fund Thursday. Watt's father is a retired firefighter.

More than 1,200 people had donated about $87,000 to the Lundgaard family in the first 19 hours of fundraising.


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