Sun Prairie Firefighter Capt. Cory Barr

Cory Barr

Sun Prairie firefighters will mark the second anniversary of the July 10, 2018 natural gas explosion with the unveiling of a sculpture honoring Capt. Cory Barr who died in the incident.

The Sun Prairie Stronger Remembrance Ceremony will start at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, July 10 at the Sun Prairie Fire Station 1, 135 N. Bristol St. — just steps from the blast’s ground zero.

Sun Prairie Fire Chief Chris Garrison said it will be a tough day for firefighters knowing that they lost one of their own, but they will recognize that hundreds of lives were saved because of evacuation efforts before the explosion.

“We want to honor and remember Cory and we want to honor the great accomplishment of fire, police, and EMS in saving lives that day,” Garrison said.

With COVID-19 pandemic restrictions in place, Garrison encourages people to livestream the event on the Sun Prairie Fire & Rescue Facebook page. Garrison said attendance will be limited to 100 people at the in-person event with social distancing and masks required.

A sculpture of Barr will be unveiled at the ceremony. More than $20,000 was raised through the city and local donors to install the sculpture at the SPFD Station 1.

Businesses also donated materials and landscaping for the display. Garrison said the fire department appreciates the community effort to create the Cory Barr memorial.

Abby Barr, Cory’s wife, will speak at Friday’s ceremony hosted by the SPFD and the City of Sun Prairie. Sun Prairie Police Sgt. Ray Thomson, who was injured in the explosion, will also share his thoughts, along with Chief Garrison, Pastor Charlie Brandt and City Council President Mary Polenske.

A portion of Angell Street and the U.S. Post Office in Sun Prairie are being renamed in honor of Cory Barr.

Find more information and a live-streaming of the event, like and subscribe to the Sun Prairie Fire & Rescue Facebook page.

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