A firefighter has died and several more emergency responders and civilians were injured after a suspected gas explosion in downtown Sun Prairie, Wisconsin on Tuesday evening.
Responders were in the process of evacuating civilians from buildings in the Madison suburb after a contractor reportedly punctured a natural gas main, causing gas to leak into one of the properties.
The leak was reported at 6:21 p.m. and, while the evacuation was underway, there was an explosion at 7 p.m. that damaged five buildings, including three bars/restaurants.
Two firefighters and a police officer were injured in the blast along with seven civilians. Sun Prairie police said in a news conference late Tuesday night that one of the firefighters died from their injuries.
The identity of the late firefighter has not been officially confirmed, but posts from those who knew him on social media identify him as Cory Barr, who was a captain of the Sun Prairie Fire Department and owner of The Barr House, one of the businesses damaged in the explosion.
Footage from the incident, shared on with Bring Me The News by Ole A., of Madison, shows the extent of the damage caused by the explosion.
The American Red Cross said that it provided shelter to 80 residents of Sun Prairie on Tuesday night, most of them evacuated from assisted living apartments.
With the blast causing huge damage to Main Street, the city says there's no timetable for allowing people back into the area yet.
Around 500 properties remain without gas service and several downtown streets have been closed off.