Flames in street after Wisconsin gas mains explosion

BREAKING: Gas EXPLOSION completely destroys buildings in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, USA

BREAKING: Gas EXPLOSION completely destroys buildings in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, USA

Konopacki says firefighters and police responded to a reported gas leak about 6:20 p.m. Witnesses reported the explosion about 7:15 p.m. The explosion rocked the downtown area after a contractor struck a natural gas main. It sent a plume of smoke and flames into the air. WE Energies did not provide the name of the contractor.

All 12 gas lines in the area were shut off by about 9:30 p.m on Tuesday. The explosion occurred shortly afterward.

"He was very, very proud of Sun Prairie and the community he lived in", DePula said. "Crews could not access the area safely to stop the leak".

Four other firefighters, a police officer and seven civilians were also hurt, Konopacki said.

Fire crews worked into the evening and flames could still be seen from Sun Prairie High School, almost one mile away just before midnight. We will keep on building on this. "The Sun Prairie Fire Department is strong".

"We are hurt", Garrison said of his team's loss of one of its veterans, "but we will come back".

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.

One firefighter has died and another was critically injured in a gas explosion and fire that leveled several buildings in downtown Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.

He said the building across from his shop 'literally lifted up'.

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

Jill Thompson, 56, who lives about two blocks away, said she saw smoke immediately after the blast occurred.

Andy Gay, a WMTV employee, said: "Our whole house shook". We felt this boom and I thought something landed on our roof, it was so loud.