Sun Prairie Stronger: Reflecting and remembering July 10 explosion

Published: Jul. 5, 2019 at 5:20 PM CDT
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It’s been nearly a year since an explosion changed Sun Prairie.

On July 10, 2018, Sun Prairie emergency crews responded to a gas leak at the corner of Main and Bristol Streets at 6:21 p.m. Roughly 40 minutes later, an explosion occurred. Sun Prairie Fire Captain Cory Barr was killed. Another firefighter, Ryan Welch, was critically injured in the explosion.

For Captain Barr’s widow, Abigail, every day is still a battle for her with her grief.

"I at least once a day stop in my tracks and my train of thought and think, why is this my train of thought right now? Why? How did I get here? What just happened," explained Barr.

In December, authorities announced there will be no criminal charges, and the criminal investigation was closed. According to the Sun Prairie Police Department, miscommunication between contractors led to the gas line being hit.

“We’re never going to find out what that spark was that caused the explosion,” said Sun Prairie Police Lt. Kevin Konopacki. “Even in the very in-depth investigation that our investigators did with the State Fire Marshall and the Department of Criminal Investigation, we never found that ‘smoking gun.’”

Several businesses were destroyed in the explosion and dozens of people lost their homes.

A remembrance ceremony is being held at 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday. It will begin at Fire Station 1 (135 N. Bristol Street) and will end with a moment of silence at the site of the explosion, a short distance away.

NBC15 will sharing the stories of Abigail Barr, emergency responders, and the community as they reflect on the explosion a year later on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at 10 p.m.



Sun Prairie Businesses Remember events of July 10



Many businesses will stay open later on Wednesday. Some will be donating to a special cause. Participating businesses include:

- Cannery Wine Bar and Tasting Room: Donations accepted for the Sun Prairie Volunteer Fire Department. From 7 - 10 p.m, free Point Brewery Session Pale Ale, while the keg lasts.

- Beans 'n Cream Coffeehouse: $1 of each Cinnamon Roll sold will be donated to Sunshine Place.

- Glass Nickel Pizza - Sun Prairie: 25% of pizza sales on July 10 will be donated to the Sun Prairie Volunteer Fire Department.

-Razor Sharp Screen Printing: Special t-shirts available for purchase online and in-store while supplies last. $4 of every purchase will be used to memorialize Capt. Cory Barr.

- Full Mile Beer Company & Kitchen: $1 from the sale of each beer on July 10 will be donated to the Sun Prairie Volunteer Fire Department.

- Eddie's Alehouse & Eatery: $1 from every "Barr Burger" sold will be donated to the Sun Prairie Volunteer Fire Department.

- Salvatore's Tomato Pies -  Sun Prairie: 10% of food sales on July 10 will be donated to the Sun Prairie Volunteer Fire Department.

- Faded Roots Boutique: 10% of sales on July 10 will be donated to a college account for Capt. Cory Barr's daughters.

- Meant to Bead: Will have special artist pieces for sale; a portion of the sales will be donated to help the families still struggling from this event and any families in the community that need a helping hand.

- Market Street Diner & Bakery: Will sell "Sun Prairie Strong" cookies.

-Nitty Gritty: Will have food and drink specials

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