Firefighter killed in gas explosion, fire near Madison

SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. (AP) — A firefighter was killed and at least a dozen other people were injured when a natural gas explosion leveled at least two buildings in a Madison suburb, authorities said.

A gas leak in downtown Sun Prairie led to an explosion Tuesday evening that destroyed several buildings and ignited a fire that sent billowing smoke that could be seen for miles around.

Another firefighter had critical injuries but his condition has been stabilized, Sun Prairie Police Lt. Kevin Konopacki said. Four other firefighters, a police officer and seven civilians also were hurt.

The firefighter who died has been with the department at least 10 years, Sun Prairie Fire Chief Christopher Garrison said.

WE Energies spokeswoman Amy Jahns said workers for a private contractor punctured a 4-inch gas main, causing a leak that resulted in the explosion. The Barr House and Glass Nickel Pizza exploded after the gas ignited.

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