One firefighter dead after explosion in downtown Sun Prairie

One firefighter dead after explosion in downtown Sun Prairie

The explosion and fire followed about half an hour later, raining fiery debris on downtown streets, igniting vehicles and sending a plume of smoke into the air that could be seen for miles. I thought someone had hit the building with their vehicle.

"We were told that a contractor did strike one of our natural gas mains", said Amy Jahns, spokesperson for We Energies.

According to a GoFundMe account, Barr was 34-years-old.

Police Lt. Kevin Konopacki said that around 6:20 p.m., firefighters and police responded to a reported gas leak in downtown Sun Prairie, a community of about 30,000.

"I always looked up to him and admired him because I feel like it takes a special kind of person to be on a fire department and be running in toward something that everyone else was running away from", she said.

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A union leader is identifying the Wisconsin firefighter killed in a gas explosion as a man who also owned a tavern that caught fire the blast.

"The Sun Prairie Fire Department is strong". Witnesses said the fire broke out after a loud boom Tuesday night shook the community. We will keep on building from this. "It could have been a lot worse", Konopacki said.

"We are hurt", Garrison said of his team's loss of one of its veterans, "but we will come back". He says some civilians suffered minor injuries but none needed to be hospitalized. Police set up a half-mile perimeter around the site.

Multiple news source state that Sun Prairie's emergency services led a five-block evacuation of the downtown area after the blast leveled several restaurants, cars and local businesses. They said it will likely remain in place for much of the day, before residents get the "all-clear" to return to their homes. About 32,800 people live in Sun Prairie.

Firefighters work the scene of an explosion in downtown Sun Prairie, Wis., Tuesday, July 10, 2018.

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