Explosion rocks Sun Prairie, Wisconsin after natural gas main struck

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The gas leak caused an explosion around 7 p.m. and produced a massive fire.

According to a GoFundMe account, Barr was 34-years-old. We will keep on building on this. "We are hurt, but we will come back", Garrison said. As of 2:15 p.m. on July 11, the fundraiser had exceeded its goal - $20,184 of $15,000.

Dane County Sheriff's Office operations manager Paul Logan said some people were taken to hospitals, but that no deaths had been reported. One of those firefighters was critically hurt.

"We were told that a contractor did strike one of our natural gas mains", said Amy Jahns, spokesperson for We Energies.

Cathy Schulze, another WE Energies spokeswoman, declined to identify the contractor responsible for the explosion.

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Authorities evacuated buildings within a half-mile (0.8 kilometer) radius from the center of the explosion.

Firefighters and police officers responded to a reported gas leak, and an evacuation was underway when the blast happened Tuesday, said Sun Prairie police Lt. Kevin Konopacki. Steve Owen, a small business owner, told reporters what he saw when firefighters and police officers started to mobilize, and he also recalled that the building across the street from his shop was "literally lifted up" by a fireball.

He said the force knocked him back in his chair and that he ran outside and saw a ball of fire.

'People were scrambling, ' said Owen, who lives above his shop.

Jill Thompson, 56, who lives about two blocks from where the blast occurred, said, "It shook the whole building". We felt this boom and I thought something landed on our roof, it was so loud. They said it will likely remain in place for much of the day, before residents get the "all-clear" to return to their homes.

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