Sun Prairie fire Capt. Cory Barr died overnight from injuries he sustained in a natural gas explosion that leveled several buildings.
A firefighter from a suburb of the Wisconsin capital has died from injuries he sustained in a natural gas explosion that also critically injured another firefighter.
According to multiple media reports, Capt. Cory Barr of the Sun Prairie Volunteer Fire Department was part of a crew responding to a report of a gas leak Tuesday night when an explosion rocked several buildings and ignited a large fire with billowing smoke that could be seen for miles.
Capt. Barr, who was a firefighter for 15 years, reportedly died overnight from his injuries. Barr was the owner of a drinking establishment called the Barr House, which was leveled in the explosion. According to WISC, he leaves behind a wife and twin daughters.
“Trying to find the words, and not sure how I can,” Barr’s wife Abby wrote in a Facebook post. “The husband, the father of my children, a son, an uncle, a brother, and so many other things was taken from this world tonight way too soon.”
The critically injured firefighter was stabilized, according to local police, while three other firefighters, a police officer and seven civilians also suffered injuries.
Authorities said many others may have been injured had the area, which is full of bars and restaurants, not been under evacuation orders once the gas leak was reported. Firefighters spent hours dousing the blaze caused by the blast.
A spokesperson for WE Energies said workers for a private contractor punctured a 4-inch gas main, causing the leak which led to the explosion.
The city of Sun Prairie has a population of about 30,000 and sits roughly 14 miles northeast of Madison.