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Fire captain’s widow, twin daughters remember “hero” killed in Sun Prairie explosion

SUN PRAIRIE (WKOW) — Nearly one year ago, a deadly explosion changed Sun Prairie and the people who live there forever.

None more so than Abby Barr, whose husband, Fire Capt. Cory Barr, was killed. Now Abby is raising their twin daughters, Aubrey and Hailey, alone.

The twins spent their 4th birthday at the Sun Prairie Aquatic Center July 1 and Abby invited 27 News to tag along. It was their first birthday without their dad, Cory Barr. Abby’s birthday was just a week later on July 8.

“Days like today, you just feel it more,” she says.

To Abby, Cory was so much more than the firefighter who gave his life. “He was just a very giving, thoughtful, outgoing, funny, just…. I don’t know. Perfect without being perfect,” Abby describes Cory.

Getting ready for their birthday dinner, the twins share memorable moments with Mom. Every second together is precious. “He loved those girls…. so much. He was such a proud father,’ Abby cries as she thinks about Cory.

You can feel the love in this house. Asking Hailey about her sister Aubrey, she replies, “She’s my favorite friend.”

“They’re the reason I get up every day. I mean, no one else is here to get up with them anymore,” Abby says.

But there are still sad times. Abby says she’s not sure how she is dealing with all of this. During our interview, she cries and daughter Hailey comes over to comfort her.

“Mommy, don’t cry,” she says. Abby reassures her young daughter that Mommy is okay and they will head out to their birthday dinner soon.

“They know when I’m sad and I cry. They come up and say, ‘Do you miss Daddy?’ And I say, ‘Yes, I miss Daddy.'”

Abby says she’s always honest with her girls and open about her feelings. “I have called over friends and family so I can go hide out in my room and they can hang out with the girls.”

Support from the Sun Prairie community has kept them going. “He loved Sun Prairie, loved Sun Prairie,” Abby says of Cory. “I’m going to try to put my best foot forward raising these girls to the best of my ability and that’s the best way I can thank people and honor what they’ve done for us.”

Abby Barr plans to speak at a remembrance ceremony in Sun Prairie Wednesday, July 10. 27 News will have complete coverage of the event, including special stories checking back in on the Sun Prairie community Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. 

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Dani Maxwell

Dani Maxwell is the Content Manager for 27 WKOW.

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