Statue of fallen Sun Prairie Firefighter Cory Barr unveiled on explosion anniversary

SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. – Nearly 100 were in attendance Friday evening, as officials in Sun Prairie unveiled a statue honoring the late Cory Barr.

On July 10 2018, Barr was killed after a natural gas explosion happened in the city’s downtown. Barr, who served as a volunteer fire captain, was attempting to evacuate buildings when the explosion happened.

“We will never forget Cory,” said Fire Chief Chris Garrison.  “I’ll never forget the smile on that mans face.”

Garrison referred to Friday’s event as a celebration of life. He said currently, the department’s biggest goal is to obtain closure and move forward.

“He was probably one of the most proud firefighters we had in this organization,” Garrison said. “He loved this place. It was like a second home to him.”

Prior to the statue unveiling, Barr’s wife Abby addressed the crowd.

“I feel like people want to hear that we’re fine, we’re happy, we’re moving on,” Barr said. “That’s not ever going to happen. What’s going to happen is that we’re going to move forward with Cory in our hearts forever.”

“I want to talk about him,” Barr said. “I want others to talk to me about him. I want people to tell my girls stories about him. I don’t want people to ever to feel that they’re going to hurt me by bringing his name up, because it’s not possible.”

The statue unveiled Friday shows a firefighter kneeling with Barr’s helmet in their hands. Garrison says the statue not only represents Barr, but each of the firefighters who responded to the 2018 explosion.

“This statue represents a lot to me. it’s extremely important,” he said.

In addition, the street in front of the fire station was renamed “Barr Street”.

“If i cry, it’s because i’m sad and I miss him,” Abby Barr said. “But also what you can’t see is that it warms my heart to hear other people remembering him.”