The blast destroyed several buildings and ignited a fire that belched a plume of ink-black smoke that could be seen for miles. I thought someone had hit the building with their vehicle.
WE Energies spokeswoman Amy Jahns told AP that a contractor apparently punctured a 4-inch natural gas main, which sent gas into the building, ahead of the explosion.
According to a GoFundMe account, Barr was 34-years-old.
1 firefighter is dead, several others injured and hospitalized after a gas leak explosion and fire in Sun Prairie.
"I always looked up to him and admired him because I feel like it takes a special kind of person to be on a fire department and be running in toward something that everyone else was running away from", she said.
Crews were on the scene within minutes, as multiple departments from across the state were in Sun Prairie for Capt. Cory Barr's procession from McFarland.
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. We will keep on building on this.
"It shook the whole building", Thompson said.
Schulze said WE Energies was still working Wednesday afternoon to restore gas service to the 500 customers who were affected by the explosion.
Some of the city's 30,000 residents have been temporarily evacuated from their homes, Konopacki said. One of those firefighters was critically hurt. Five other firefighters were hurt, and seven others were treated for minor injuries. "We understand that people have been displaced".
The Red Cross assisted evacuees at a shelter set up at Sun Prairie High School. About 32,800 people live in Sun Prairie. As of 2:15 p.m. on July 11, the fundraiser had exceeded its goal - $20,184 of $15,000.