One Firefighter Dead After Explosion In Downtown Sun Prairie

UPDATE (WKOW) -- Sun Prairie police are holding a news conference at 4 p.m. Monday with an update on the investigation into the explosion July 10 that killed a firefighter and leveled multiple buildings downtown.

Over the weekend, Capt. Cory Barr was laid to rest in a public funeral at Sun Prairie High School attended by thousands.

Firefighter Ryan Welch, who was with Barr at the time of the explosion, was seriously injured but returned home last week.

Also last week, Bear Communications, which was contracted by Verizon for a fiber optic project, said that one of its contractors, VC Tech Inc. was doing work at the site of the gas main rupture.

WKOW will stream the news conference on Facebook and online at


SUN PRAIRIE (WKOW) -- Less then a week after the Sun Prairie explosion, restaurants and businesses in the area are starting to open their doors. 

Market Street Diner re-opened Friday. Managers say they wanted to help provide a sense of normalcy for people in Sun Prairie. 

"We just wanted to be open for the community," said Lindsay Worth, who works at the diner. 

Just down the street, Eddie's Alehouse and Eatery was packed with people coming out to support each other. 

"It definitely lifts the spirits of the communities. There's been a big outpouring of donations and support and I think for people to come back into the area and maybe congregate together in a social setting it definitely helps out the moral and lifts the spirit of the community," said Seth Degnan, a customer at Eddie's. 

According to the businesses, traffic kept up over the weekend as customers like Josue Maldonado said they wanted to stop by to do their part.

"Everybody that you talk to here is talking about how they can help. So it was a really nice to see that part of it after all the destruction that happened," he said.

Starting Monday, Market Street Diner will be donating part of their sales to the Barr family. Firefighter Cory Barr was killed in the explosion. The restaurant will donate one dollar of each special cookie and cupcake they sell. 

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