Remembering Mitch Lundgaard, Appleton’s fallen firefighter who died in the line


APPLETON (NBC 26) — Honoring and remembering the life of a fallen hero.

Two years ago on May 15, 2019, Mitch Lundgaard, a 14-year veteran of the Appleton Fire Department lost his life in the line of duty.

Mitch Lundgaard.png

NBC 26

Photo of Appleton firefighter Mitchell Lundgaard, who died in the line of duty in May 2019.

It happened when authorities responded to a medical call. A man who had been revived after an overdose then opened fire.

Lundgaard died of a gunshot wound to his chest.

While time has passed since this horrific event, the city is doing everything it can to honor Lundgaard’s life and legacy.

“Mitch was a community hero, he laid his life on the line for 14 years. Every single day he came to work knowing it could be his last. He did that because he cares about the community, he cares about the people that live in the community. Remembering that sacrifice is very important. It honors him, his memory, it honors his family who also lost a husband and a father,” said Appleton Fire Chief Jeremy Hansen.

Lundgaard’s death was the first death in the line of duty for the Appleton Fire Department since 1933.

Appleton Fire Department

Valerie Juarez

“Every May 15th since the tragedy occurred we do what is called Sit with Mitch, so on May 15th, we are here since before the sun comes up and we’re here until the sun goes down, and it’s just a way to pay tribute to him and to make sure that he has a fellow firefighter brother or sister with him all day long,” Hansen said.

Lundgaard

Valerie Juarez

On Friday, the City of Appleton had a small gathering to lay a wreath on his grave site.

Lundgaard

Valerie Juarez

As a community, Appleton’s mayor Jake Woodford said they’re always looking for a way to continue to remember him and his service.

“We actually named a park in the City of Appleton in his name. It’s on the north side right next to Fire Station Six. So the design process has just gotten underway in that park and will serve as a great tribute to Mitch and his family,” Woodford said.

Hansen said Lundgaard left a wife and three young boys behind.

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