A tremendous gas leak explosion rocked my former hometown of Sun Prairie Wisconsin Tuesday evening around 7:00 p.m.

WE Energies reported a gas main was ruptured by a contractor working in the area of Main St. and Bristol Ave in downtown Sun Prairie about 15 miles northwest of Madison, WI.

Moments later, a powerful blast destroyed the Barr House tavern and ignited fires that burned several other buildings down.

Sun Prairie resident Jerrid James Skenandore was one of the first to arrive on the scene and provided me with an eyewitness account of the devastation as seen in the video that he took just moments after the explosion before fire and police arrived.

[video courtesy Jerrid James Skenandore]

Sun Prairie Police reported two firefighters and one police officer were injured and taken to area hospitals. We've now leaned from Channel 3000 that one of the firefighters died from his injuries sustained last  night.

Jerrid told me that he feared there were several patrons in the Barr House at the time of the explosion, but so far there have been no confirmed reports of deaths.

Main Street was littered with debris, and the explosion blew out windows of nearby homes and buildings. Residents reported that the blast shook houses that were miles away from downtown.

The video is over 15 minutes long. It also contains some rough language in some parts.

We admire and appreciate the bravery and actions taken by the first responders to secure and and control this dangerous situation.

Sun Prairie, WI is where Barb and I lived for over 15 years. We raised our family less than a mile from the downtown site of the explosion. We have heard from many friends and former neighbors about this tragic accident, and send our prayers to all those affected.  

[source: Channel 3000 video courtesy Jerrid James Skenandore]