Family loses everything in gas leak and explosion in downtown Sun Prairie

MADISON (WKOW) — Joseph Powelka never imagined something like this would happened to him and his family.

His century-old house on W. Main Street in Sun Prairie was reduced to rubble after a gas explosion caused a fire that engulfed his house Tuesday evening.

“Just the chimney that I can see. That’s it. That’s all that’s left,” Powelka said.

He was just down the street when he received a frantic phone call from his daughter just after 7 p.m.

“She just said the windows blow open. There was glass everywhere. So when I got down here, things were everywhere. The Barr House was just gone. Cars in the street were on fire. Very scary scenario,” he said.

Powelka’s house sits just cross the street from The Barr House where the explosion happened just outside.

“We saw the winds were pushing the fire, it looked like, that were on top of the Glass Nickel. It wasn’t until about 11 p.m. when I found out that my house was engulfed in flames,” Powelka said.

Tuesday was Powelka’s daughter’s 15th birthday and he had just wrapped her gifts. Now everything is gone.

“Everything for my kids is gone. For me, I can replace everything. But how can they replace their stuff, their memories?” he said.

Powelka said he was able to get his family and pets out safely. They are staying with family while he sorts things out.

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