Video: Sun Prairie Explosion in Wisconsin Town Kills One Firefighter, Injures Many

A firefighter has died following a gas explosion in a suburb of Madison, Wisconsin.

Emergency services were called to a suspected leak in the downtown area of Sun Prairie after a contractor struck a natural gas main at around 6:20 p.m. on Tuesday (July 10).

The leak resulted in police and firefighters evacuating the area, which is filled with bars, restaurants and other local businesses and residential homes.

Around 7 p.m., a huge explosion occurred, sending plumes of smoke high in the area.

"I felt the explosion. It sounded like somebody slammed a door really, really loudly, but with extra force," local resident Megan Sheridan told WISN 12 News.

Jill Thompson, 56, who lives about two blocks from where the blast occurred, told AP: "It shook the whole building. I thought someone had hit the building with their vehicle. We saw the smoke immediately."

Six firefighters were taken to hospital after suffering injuries from the blast. One police officer and seven civilians also received less serious injuries, the Sun Prairie Police Department said in a press conference.

FIRE Firefighters respond to a gas explosion which ripped through the Main Street of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin on July 10. Storyful

Officials have now confirmed that one of the firefighters has since died from his injuries, with another still in hospital in a stable condition.

Further information about the dead firefighter will made available through the Medical Examiner's office at a later time.

The fire department said that following a search of the area there are no missing people following the blast, which caused “significant damage” to five buildings— Barr House, Glass Nickel Pizza, the Professional Building, Water Tower Chophouse and a residential home.

Police have not been able to determine when people will be able to return to the area. Officials said that fires are contained, but still active in one or two buildings.

WE Energies spokeswoman Amy Jahns told AP that a contractor apparently punctured a 4-inch natural gas main, which sent gas into the building, ahead of the explosion.

All 12 gas lines in the area were shut off by about 9:30 p.m on Tuesday. Around 500 customers in the area are still without gas service.

Elsewhere, the nearby YMCA of Dane County said it is offering support to all those who have been displaced as a result of the blast.

"We open at 5 am, so if you need refuge, a shower or just a place to be calm and cool for a while, please come and see us at the Y,” it said in a statement.

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