Sun Prairie Stronger: Reflecting and remembering July 10 explosion

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SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. (WMTV) -- 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.

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