'Luckiest girl in the world to have known him': Wife of Sun Prairie firefighter speaks

cory abby barr family cropped.jpg

SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. - The wife of a volunteer firefighter killed in an explosion in downtown Sun Prairie Tuesday night says she is the "luckiest girl in the world to have known him."

Abby Barr was the co-owner of The Barr House with her husband Cory Barr, who died Tuesday night after an explosion that leveled their business. Abby says Cory was a volunteer fire captain who went to check on a gas leak near the business in downtown Sun Prairie Tuesday night to figure out what was wrong as other firefighters evacuated people to safety.

"He was especially wanting to make sure he was on that call because it was affecting something else we loved so much our bar. He told me he was going down there and I asked him why and he just looked like a kid in a candy store. It's what he loved to do. He loved helping people," Barr said.

Abby says the explosion went off and Barr was pronounced dead after being airlifted to UW Hospital.

Cory is now being remembered as a great father, firefighter and person, who leaves behind twin 3-year-old girls and a grieving family.

"I'm the luckiest girl in the world to have known him and have him be a part of my life and be an excellent father to my girls," Abby Barr said. "I don't know what I'm going to do without him."

Cory Barr, 34, was a 15-year veteran of the Sun Prairie volunteer fire department, and Abby said his work at the scene was not the only time her husband has acted heroically.

"He had so much passion for the fire service it was maddening," Abby Barr said. "He cared for the fire department so much. And you know, I always looked up to him and admired him because I feel like it takes a special kind of person to be on a fire department and be running in toward something that everyone else was running away from."