UPDATE: Explosion Kills Firefighter, Levels Several Buildings in Downtown Sun Prairie

UPDATE: Explosion Kills Firefighter, Levels Several Buildings in Downtown Sun Prairie


This story has been updated.

A firefighter was killed and other firefighters and police officers were injured, and several buildings leveled, in a gas leak explosion on Main Street in Sun Prairie Tuesday evening. Additional explosions were heard late Tuesday night. Much of downtown Sun Prairie remains closed Wednesday morning, though authorities say all gas leaks are now contained.

Several residents reported on social media that the explosion occurred at the Barr House restaurant on Main Street. Police confirmed that Barr House and Glass Nickel Pizza were both damaged. A firefighter and a police officer were injured and are in the hospital, but authorities have not confirmed any civilian injuries or fatalities.

Officials at WE Energies told our content partner News 3 that a contractor had broken a natural gas main. Police said they were called downtown at about 6:20 pm by people who smelled gas, and there was an explosion shortly thereafter. A wide radius was evacuated.

Several Sun Prairie residents on social media reported hearing the blast from miles away.

Facebook user Josh Kramer said in a Facebook comment that he felt it more than a mile and a half away.

“Our sliding door flexed in an inch or more and shook our apartment,” he wrote.

“We were walking out of the Nitty Gritty restaurant in Sun Prairie and all of a sudden there was an explosion a few blocks up from us and debris flew very high into the sky,” wrote Sun Prairie resident Terri Guyant-Egstad in a message to Madison365. “We could feel the explosion where we were (about a half mile away).”

Facebook user John Wilhelm posted video from the scene. In the post he wrote that Barr House is “gone.”

In an early morning briefing Wednesday, authorities said more information would be released later in the day about the firefighter who was killed. Another firefighter remains in critical condition. No one was found in the damaged buildings, authorities said.

We will report updates as they become available.

Written by Madison365 staff