First Alert Investigation: Family ‘frustrated’ over charges delay in Pulaski bonfire explosion

Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 4:49 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 5, 2023 at 6:20 PM CDT
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PULASKI, Wis. (WBAY) - Frustration is growing among the parents of teens injured in a homecoming bonfire explosion last October in Shawano County.

In November, the Shawano County Sheriff’s Office recommended charges to the district attorney’s office against three people. To date, just one of those people has faced charges in juvenile court.

“He just stood up for a wedding that we’ve been thinking about for a really long time. And it was a beautiful day and everything turned out nice,” said Tammy Brzeczkowski, Brandon’s mom.

18-year-old Brandon Brzeczkowski is getting back to the things he loves in life, finding a new normal after suffering second and third-degree burns on 38 percent of his body last October.

He and several other teenagers spent weeks in a hospital after authorities determined two teens tossed a 55-gallon drum container with a mixture of gas and diesel fuel on a bonfire. GoFundMe pages and donations from the community helped the teenagers pay for necessary treatment.

Brandon is still recovering waiting on insurance to approve necessary laser surgery to break up some of the scar tissue to promote flexibility and mobility.

Brittany Schmidt with Action 2 News asked: “You are on a time crunch, have to do the surgeries within a year to be effective, but there are some other challenges you are waiting on so what are those?”

“The court cases so we had one court case already that’s pretty much almost done, but the other individual that has not been tried yet, and it’s been eight months, very frustrated,” said Bruce Brzeczkowski, Brandon’s Father.

The Brzeczkowski’s want charges to be filed so Brandon can continue moving forward in his healing process.

On November 14, 2022, the Shawano County Sheriff’s Office referred charges to the Shawano County District Attorney, Gregory Parker.

In the press release, the sheriff’s office recommended charges against a 17-year-old, a 16-year-old and the homeowner who was present during the incident. As of June 5, 2023, only one of the three have faced charges.

The 16-year-old made his way through Brown County’s Juvenile Court, because they live in Brown County. He has to serve 40 hours of community service pertaining to burn victims.

The other teen and adult have yet to face charges.

About a month ago Bruce Brzeczkowski said he called D.A. Parker’s office.

“I did. I didn’t talk to him,” said Bruce. “But I talked to secretary or whatever and she was actually going to get back to me and some things and never did.”

Brittany Schmidt called D.A. Parker’s Office and sent multiple emails starting a week ago, asking if and when charges would be filed. She also asked for a reason for the delay. We have yet to hear back from him.

We’ve also been repeatedly checking online records and nothing has been filed.

We also checked in with the Lieutenant from Shawano County Sheriff’s Office we’ve been in contact with since last November to ask if there’s been a change in their investigation or if they know why there’s been a delay.

In an email, Lt. Chris Madle said the sheriff’s office referred the case November 14 and now it’s up to the DA’s office. He added the sheriff’s office, “understands the frustrations of the victim’s family and fully support them.”

The Brzeczkowski’s hired an attorney for possible future civil litigation to make sure Brandon’s medical needs are met for years to come as more treatment is likely.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen, you know, wounds that don’t heal can turn into cancer, there’s a lot of different things that could happen that we have no idea,” said Tammy Brzeczkowski.

The Brzeczkowski’s said they have a lot to be grateful for, but as part of Brandon’s healing process, they hope to get some clarity soon.

Frustration is growing among the parents of teens injured in a homecoming bonfire explosion last October.