Saturday, July 21st


Gas main explosion levels several buildings in Sun Prairie. Video courtesy John Willems

A large plume of smoke from a massive explosion is seen in Sun Prairie on Tuesday evening.(Photo: Associated Press)

A firefighter responding to an explosion thought to be caused by a gas line break that rocked downtown Sun Prairie on Tuesday night has died, authorities said at an early morning press conference.

The blast leveled several buildings. Two firefighters were taken to a hospital and one police officer was treated at the scene. One of the firefighters later died and another is in critical condition.

Another firefighter suffered critical injuries in the blast but his condition has been stabilized, according to Sun Prairie Police Lt. Kevin Konopacki.

Four other firefighters, a police officer and seven civilians were also hurt, Konopacki said.

The firefighter who died has been with the department at least 10 years, Sun Prairie Fire Chief Christopher Garrison said.