SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. (WMTV) – One firefighter was killed and several others were hurt in an explosion that happened downtown Sun Prairie on Tuesday, July 10th.
The President of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin released a statement Wednesday afternoon confirming that Captain Cory Barr died while working at the explosion site.
According to officials Wednesday morning, a total of six firefighters were hurt responding to the fire after the explosion. Four with minor injuries and were released from the hospital. One has critical injuries, but is in stable condition and one died from his injuries.
Seven citizens and a police officer were also taken to the hospital with minor injuries, but were released.
The explosion happened on Tuesday around 6:20 p.m. at the intersection of Main and Bristol Streets after police were called to the area for a gas leak.
A spokesperson with We Energies, Amy Jahns, said a contractor, who is not affiliated with the company, hit a We Energies gas line causing a leak and then an explosion.
Sun Prairie police Lt Kevin Konopacki said the Barr House, Glass Nickel Pizza, the Watertower Chop House and a residence nearby suffered significant fire damage. There is no timetable yet for when people will be allowed back in the half-mile radius/evacuation zone.
"We understand that people have been displaced and as soon as we can make this secure and get people to their homes we’re gonna do that," Lt. Konopacki said Wednesday morning. "But right now it is not safe for people to come back to their homes."
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 following roads are closed in Sun Prairie due to the incident:
- Main Street (Hwy 19) from N to Flint Street
- Linnerud Drive from Main Street to Craftsman Way
- Bristol Street from Windsor St to Linnerud Drive
- Columbus Street from Oak Street to Main Street