Sun Prairie Strong

Published: Jul. 11, 2018 at 9:46 PM CDT
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"Caring, loving, engaging..."

Those are the three words Rev. Jenny Arneson of the Sun Prairie Methodist Church used to describe the Sun Prairie community. The church became an evacuation site for people who had to leave their homes after an explosion happened at Barr House on Main Street.

Immediately, community members donated blankets, pillows, food and water to help those who had to spend the night at the church.

"It was just a natural response of people, it wasn't something people had to think about it was just something they did. I think that's innate within us to want to help others and to be able to pull together," Arneson said.

Erica Lohr, 16, was one of the people who donated blankets and pillows. "I asked my mom if I should bring some, because I have a ton of blankets and pillows and I knew these would come in handy so I just grabbed as much as I could and came to the church."

And it wasn't just community members who helped, local businesses also pitched in. The Culver's restaurant on Main Street brought burgers and fries to the first responders.

"We have an opportunity to give back, we always do that and it's just the right thing to do," General Manager Michael Horkan said.

Pastor Arneson said the leftover food that was donated to the church will be given to a local food pantry and Culver's said they are offering free meals to anyone who, personally, or their home was effected by the fire of the explosion.