One firefighter dead after explosion in downtown Sun Prairie

BREAKING: Gas EXPLOSION completely destroys buildings in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, USA

Ben Handelsman, a local reporter wrote on Twitter that two firefighters and one police officer are among those injured in the large gas explosion.

"Thank God that our firefighters and those who responded were able to get the majority of people evacuated before the explosion".

The explosion happened on Tuesday around 6:20 p.m.at the intersection of Main and Bristol Streets after police were called to the area for a gas leak.

WE Energies Spokeswoman Amy Jahns said workers for a private contractor struck a 4-inch natural gas main.

Officials also said several buildings were levelled and that evacuations are underway.

No deaths were reported, but Konopacki said buildings would be searched in the Madison, Wisconsin, suburb of about 30,000 once the flames were out.

Dane County Sheriff's Department operations manager Paul Logan says people were hurt in the explosion Tuesday evening in Sun Prairie, which has about 30,000 people. Barr had been with the department at least 10 years, Sun Prairie Fire Chief Christopher Garrison said. He says some civilians suffered minor injuries but none needed to be hospitalized.

"We open at 5 am, so if you need refuge, a shower or just a place to be calm and cool for a while, please come and see us at the Y", it said in a statement.

"They were not doing work on our behalf", Schulze said.

Barr's wife, Abby Barr, said in a statement that Cory Barr was "the best husband a girl could ask for" and lived his life by the motto "happy wife, happy life".

Barr was 2002 Sun Prairie High School graduate. He said the building across from his shop "literally lifted up".

The firefighter who was critically injured has been stabilized, Konopacki said.

He said the force knocked him back in his chair and that he ran outside and saw a ball of fire.

Jill Thompson, 56, who lives about two blocks from where the blast occurred, said, "It shook the whole building". 'I thought someone had hit the building with their vehicle'.

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