Explosion in Wisconsin town injures firefighters, officer

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

She said he went to check on a gas leak while other firefighters evacuated people.

New details are emerging about a firefighter who was killed when a gas leak ignited a building explosion in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin Tuesday night. The blast caused burning debris to rain down on downtown Sun Prairie, set vehicles parked nearby on fire and sent up a cloud of smoke that could be seen for miles.

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. Hundreds of residents were displaced from their home and found shelter at area schools and churches.

SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. (AP) - A police lieutenant in a suburb of Madison, Wisconsin, says no deaths have been reported after an explosion rocked the downtown area but that authorities will be searching buildings. Police blocked off downtown streets from traffic and onlookers.

WE Energies spokeswoman Cathy Schulze says the utility's first responders are in downtown Sun Prairie working to shut off the flow of gas and make the area safe.

Firefighters from Sun Prairie and surrounding communities are responding to the blaze.

He said the building across from his shop 'literally lifted up'.

The firefighter who was critically injured has been stabilized, Konopacki said. A massive plume of smoke is rising from the downtown area in the community of about 30,000 people.

He said the force of the blast 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, told AP: "It shook the whole building".

Steve DePula, owner of Salvatore's Tomato Pies restaurant about a half-block from the fire, said he had known Barr for several years.

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