Official websites use .gov

A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS

A lock () or https:// means you've safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Cory James Barr


On July 10, 2018, at approximately 1830hrs, a natural gas line was struck during an underground boring operation.  Natural gas began to vent from the ground in various locations around the boring operation.  Sun Prairie fire and law enforcement officers began an evacuation of the area.  An explosion occurred at approximately 1905hrs, resulting in the death of Captain Barr, injuries to a number of people, and extensive damage.

Captain Barr was on the scene prior to the explosion and worked with other firefighters to shut off utility services to the Barr House, a bar located near the gas leak.  The firefighters had exited the bar when the explosion occurred.  Captain Barr was buried in debris.  He was removed by firefighters and transported to the hospital by ambulance although he did not survive.  His cause of death was multiple blunt trauma.

Incident Location: 100 W. Main Street, Sun Prairie, WI 53590 (U.S. National Grid: U.S. National Grid: 16T CN 20094 83570 (DD: 43.184, -89.214))

photo of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial
Cory James Barr was honored on the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland and was included in the USFA’s annual report Firefighter Fatalities in the United States.

Department information

Sun Prairie Volunteer Fire Department
135 North Bristol Street
Sun Prairie, Wisconsin 53590

Chief: Christopher Garrison

Age: 34
Rank: Captain
Classification: Part-Time (Paid)
Incident date: July 10, 2018 18:21
Date of death: July 10, 2018
Cause of fatal injury: Struck By
Nature of fatal injury: Trauma
Activity type: Other
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Fire
Fixed property use: Industry

Last updated: July 11, 2019