SUN PRAIRIE -- Funeral preparations are underway for Cory Barr, the volunteer fire captain killed in a gas explosion on Tuesday, July 10. Firefighters are expected to attend from across the state.
Friday, July 13 a private visitation was held at the Tuschen Newcomer Funeral Home on Columbus Street in Sun Prairie. The funeral will be held on Saturday, July 14 at 11 a.m. at Sun Prairie High School on Grove Street in Sun Prairie.
Captain Barr was killed while responding to a gas leak outside the tavern he owned, the Barr House.
The blast leveled parts of downtown, and injured at least a dozen people.
As the community continues to grieve, many are still showing their gratitude for the first responders being credited for saving countless lives by ordering evacuations.
Ole Allen's aunt lived above the Barr House.
"She made it out probably ten minutes prior to it exploding," said Allen.
As a print shop employee, Allen is now raising money by handing out stickers in exchange for donations.
"I can't make them fast enough," Allen said.
The money won't just go to help his aunt, but to a fund to help all those affected by the explosion.
Cory Barr is now known as a national hero. The U.S. National Honor Flag is in Sun Prairie and will be placed at the funeral Saturday, July 14 as its been for thousands of fallen heroes.
Captain Barr was on duty as a Sun Prairie firefighter trying to make others safe before the explosion.
"Everyone knew Cory," Daniel said. "If you worked or had a business down here, you knew Cory because he helped every one."
Elizabeth and Daniel Donoghue just opened their chocolate business on Main street eight months ago. Daniel said he still can't believe his business neighbor is gone.
"Anytime we needed anything he helped us," Daniel said. "We ran out of food for an event once, he was like, 'Just use my kitchen, take whatever you need, all the food's here, the kitchen is yours. Do what you need.' We need ice, he's like 'Where can I bring it?'"
This time there are others bringing items for Cory Barr -- roses in his memory and messages of love. The U.S. National Honor Flag is now in Sun Prairie for Barr's funeral Saturday.
The honor flag was flown at ground zero and since then has been honoring those killed in the line of duty.
"This flag is to represent Cory's sacrifice. Never forgotten is not just something we say -- it's something that we live by," Cynthia Heisler with the U.S. Honor Flag said. "Cory's sacrifice will never ever be forgotten."
Visitation for Captain Barr is Friday night, July 13 and the funeral is Saturday at Sun Prairie High School.
The Red Cross and other agencies are still helping those displaced by the devastation.
Below is a statement from Bear Communications regarding Tuesday’s explosion in Sun Prairie:
“Bear Communications continues to cooperate fully with all parties involved in the investigation of the explosion that took place Tuesday in Sun Prairie. Bear Communications was building a fiber network in the Madison area. As is common on projects like this, Bear Communications subcontracted out certain scopes of work. The work in the Sun Prairie area was performed by VC Tech, Inc. VC Tech was working in the area prior to the blast, and when VC Tech’s employees smelled gas they notified authorities of the gas leak and assisted in evacuating people from the area before the explosion occurred.
No one from Bear Communications was present on site when the gas line began leaking. The vehicle in the photograph in the media is not owned by Bear Communications and was not operated by any employee of Bear Communications. In Sun Prairie, Bear Communications provides its subcontractors with magnetic signs with the Bear Communications logo for their vehicles.
Again, Bear Communications employees are cooperating fully with investigators. Further comments at this time would not be appropriate given the ongoing investigation.”