Verizon Wireless contractor Bear Communications was working in Sun Prairie, spokesman confirms

A contractor who police say hit a gas line causing an explosion in Sun Prairie was working on a fiber project for Verizon Wireless, a spokesman confirms.

Bear Communications was working for Verizon on a project to improve its wireless network, spokesman Steve Van Dinter told News 3 in a statement Thursday.

“While we have not been contacted about the investigation, both we and Bear are prepared to work with law enforcement, public safety and public officials as they investigate this tragic situation,” Van Dinter said.

#BREAKING: @verizon confirms it contracted with Bear Communications for a fiber project in Sun Prairie. #news3

— Rose Schmidt (@RoseSchmidtTV) July 12, 2018

Police have said they evacuated parts of downtown Sun Prairie after a contractor they have so far declined to name hit a gas line. An explosion later rocked the area, injuring firefighters and civilians and ultimately killing Sun Prairie volunteer firefighter Cory Barr .

“Verizon’s employees join the community in mourning the loss of a firefighter’s life, and we pray for the speedy and complete recovery of those harmed,” Van Dinter said in the statement.

Bear Communications confirmed in a statement Thursday that they are cooperating with the investigation.

“A subcontractor of Bear Communications was performing work on the site before the explosion, but there are many questions that remain to be answered as the investigation continues,” said a statement sent by a public relations representative for the company. “We are fully cooperating with investigators so they can develop a comprehensive overview of what happened and why.”

Bear Communications releases statement saying a subcontractor was performing work on site before the Sun Prairie explosion. “There are many questions that remain to be answered as the investigation continues.” #news3

— Rose Schmidt (@RoseSchmidtTV) July 12, 2018

Van Dinter said no Verizon employees were present at the job site and that the company “does contract with local providers in various markets to provide fiber backhaul for our networks.”

Stay tuned to News 3 and for more on this developing story.