SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. (AP/WMTV) -- 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.
Mahlon Mitchell, president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin, on Wednesday identified Cory Barr as the firefighter who was killed.
The President of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin, Mahlon Mitchell, released the following statement:
“On behalf of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin Executive Board, I want to offer our sincere condolences to the family and friends of Captain Cory Barr of the Sun Prairie Volunteer Fire Department, who passed away yesterday while working at the explosion site in downtown Sun Prairie. We would also like to offer our prayers and support to our sisters and brothers of the Sun Prairie Volunteer Fire Department and the crew of Sun Prairie EMS who attended to Captain Barr at the scene and transported him to the hospital. Our Peer Support Team has been activated to assist Sun Prairie’s first responders during this very difficult time.”
The U.S. Fire Administration said Captain Barr suffered injuries after being knocked down under a rubble pile as a result of the explosion. Barr was transported by Sun Prairie EMS to UW-Madison where he later passed away.
A contractor punctured a natural gas line in downtown Sun Prairie on Tuesday evening, leading to an explosion and ensuing fire that damaged at least five buildings, including the Barr House, which Barr owned.
Patrick DePula owns a restaurant just down the street from the Barr House. He said he's known Barr for several years. He said Barr was very proud of Sun Prairie and wanted to both preserve the city and transform it into a travel destination.