Gas EXPLOSION completely destroys buildings in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, USA
12 July, 2018, 22:26 | Author: Wade Massey
The firefighters who had gone to check a gas leak battled the blaze, including 34-year-old Cory Barr, a 15-year-veteran and captain at the Sun Prairie Fire Department.
The explosion and fire followed about half an hour later, raining fiery debris on downtown streets, igniting vehicles and sending a plume of smoke into the air that could be seen for miles. The fire resulting from the explosion ignited some cars parked in the area.
Flames were spotted late Wednesday night at Glass Nickel Pizza, one of the buildings heavily damaged by Tuesday's natural gas explosion.
Konopacki said the firefighters were taken to a hospital, while the officer was treated at the scene.
Fires were still burning but contained on Wednesday morning in at least one of five buildings, including restaurants and a home, that were heavily affected, city officials said.
Paul Logan, Dane County Sheriff's Department operations manager, said several people were hurt in the explosion in Sun Prairie, which has about 30,000 people.
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Spokespeople from WE Energies said the explosion happened after contractors evidently punctured a 4-inch hole in the main line, causing a natural gas leak for a building in the area. The strike was reported to the utility company ahead of the blast, so first responders prioritized efforts to shut down all the local gas lines.
Sun Prairie Fire Chief Christopher Garrison said the firefighter who was killed had served more than 10 years with the department. The benefit account was started by the family's church in Sun Prairie. Authorities evacuated a half-mile radius and set up a shelter at Sun Prairie High School.
"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.
'People were scrambling, ' said Owen, who lives above his shop. He said the building across from his shop "literally lifted up".
Jill Thompson, 56, who lives about two blocks away, said she saw smoke immediately after the blast occurred. 'I thought someone had hit the building with their vehicle'.
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