Explosion Rocks Town, Firefighter Killed

Explosion Rocks Town, Firefighter Killed

Five other firefighters, a police officer and at least six civilians were injured in the blast and sent to the hospital. He said he didn't know if anyone else was hurt.

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.

No deaths were immediately reported, and it wasn't known if anyone else was hurt.

The firefighters who had gone to check a gas leak battled the blaze, including 34-year-old Cory Barr, a 15-year-veteran and captain at the Sun Prairie Fire Department. The explosion rocked the downtown area after a contractor struck a natural gas main. Hundreds of residents were displaced from their home and found shelter at area schools and churches.

This update has been corrected to show the explosion happened Tuesday, not Monday.


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. She said the utility's first responders were in the area working to shut off the flow of gas and make the area safe. He had no other details.

Lt. Konopacki said Wednesday morning during a press conference that firefighters did an initial clearing of buildings in Sun Prairie - and no one was found. Firefighters were still battling flames more than three hours after the explosion.

The firefighter who died has been with the department at least 10 years, Sun Prairie Fire Chief Christopher Garrison said.

Further information about the dead firefighter will made available through the Medical Examiner's office at a later time. Witnesses said the fire broke out after a loud boom Tuesday night shook the community.

A plume of smoke could be seen for miles around the community of 30,000 near Madison.

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