Emergency services were called to a suspected leak in the downtown area of Sun Prairie after a contractor struck a natural gas main at around 6:20 p.m. on Tuesday (July 10).
Five other firefighters, a police officer and at least six civilians were hurt, according to Sun Prairie police Lt. Kevin Konopacki.
Barr, 34, worked as a real estate agent and was the owner of The Barr House bar in Sun Prairie, which was housed in one of the buildings damaged in the explosion. I thought someone had hit the building with their vehicle.
A WE Energies spokeswoman says workers for a contractor apparently punctured a natural gas main, sending gas leaking into a building ahead of the explosion.
One firefighter was killed and several others were hurt in an explosion that happened downtown Sun Prairie on Tuesday.
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The boys, who were guided through the cave's twisting passages on Sunday, were said to be happy and undergoing medical checks. Authorities had closely guarded the details of the boys' condition, who will be monitored in hospital for a week.
Crews were on the scene within minutes, as multiple departments from across the state were in Sun Prairie for Capt. Cory Barr's procession from McFarland.
The blast that occurred in Sun Prairie at around 7.15pm ignited a fire that sent billowing smoke that could be seen for miles around. Firefighters and police in the community of about 30,000 had responded and Konopacki says an evacuation was underway when the blast occurred. Authorities have cordoned off a half-mile radius from the blast zone downtown.
Help has also poured in to Sun Prairie High School in the form of snacks, water and hefty donations to help the Red Cross assist those who were forced to evacuate their homes.
Multiple videos from the area show that the explosion turned a section of Sun Prairie into a smoldering, burning hazard area. They own a business down the street from the Barr House. Cory Barr told The Star in November 2016 that it was his dream come true. "He'd give the shirt off his back", wife Abby Barr said. She said the girls would run up to him screaming "Daddy's home!" whenever he walked through the door.