11 July 2018

SUN PRAIRIE, WI – As of last night (Tuesday) and this morning, The Salvation Army of Dane County's Emergency Disaster Services response team was assisting in relief efforts in the wake of an explosion in downtown Sun Prairie.

A gas leak at the Barr House led to an explosion that leveled the structure and set off a fire in an adjacent building. Emergency Disaster Services representatives say the fire and police departments saved lives by evacuating the buildings nearby and clearing the entire area of traffic. Unfortunately, one firefighter was fatally injured during rescue efforts, and another two responders critically injured though are now in stable condition. Three firefighters have been treated and released, as well as seven civilians with minor injuries.

With the gravity of the situation and the honorable service of the fallen firefighter, the Sun Prairie community managed to come together to provide hydration, food, and other provisions for first responders and those affected by the disaster. A pallet and a half of bottled water, coolers of Gatorade, and innumerable snacks were rendered unto The Salvation Army through the goodwill and quick response of Sun Prairie neighbors. A local woman brought five coolers for the EDS team’s melting ice and asked “What else do you need?”

In response to the public’s efforts, Captain Andrew Shiels of The Salvation Army said, “I am immensely overwhelmed and grateful for the amount of support the community was able to provide and I cannot begin to say ‘thank you’ enough.”

The Salvation Army of Dane County’s EDS team extends gratitude not only to the community, but to the Waukesha County EDS team, the Sun Prairie Fire and Police Departments, as well as various local businesses. McDonald’s, Subway, Kwik Trip, Domino’s, Pizza Hut, and Lil Caesar’s provided meals for those involved. The Prairie Athletic Club is currently open to displaced residents for coffee, breakfast, showers, and a place to rest.


About The Salvation Army:
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination since 1865. Nearly 33 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (Human NeedsIndex.org).