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Investigation into deadly Sun Prairie blast continues, life begins to return to normal

SUN PRAIRIE (CBS 58) - The investigation continues into the deadly gas explosion in Sun Prairie.

It was almost a week ago that the explosion killed Sun Prairie firefighter Captain Cory Barr, and destroyed five buildings.

The Sun Prairie Police Department sealed off the area around the blast in the minutes the followed the explosion.

Now they say they could be just days away from deciding whether there will be criminal charges in the wake of the tragedy.

Meanwhile, life is starting to get back to normal.

Mr. Rudd’s Barbershop on the edge of the blast zone opened for business for the first time since the explosion.

“I can’t see out my windows anymore,” said Javen Labrenz who cuts hair at the shop.

The boarded up windows are a reminder of just how close they came to disaster.

“There are two windows, that one and that one went out, the door behind you blew in off the hinges,” said Labrenz.

Considering five buildings were destroyed, the shop got off easy, and Monday they were moving forward.

“Things are getting back to normal, and that’s an important message to convey,” said Lt. Kevin Konopacki from the Sun Prairie Police Department.

Sun Prairie Police say their investigation is moving forward was well.

“There is still a lot of work that our investigators need to do,” said Lt. Konopacki, “we’re talking to a lot of people that have been involved in this.”

They say something on this scale takes time and they have a lot of questions to answer.

“Number one it’s finding out exactly what happened here? Why did this happen? How did this happen? And was there any criminal negligence? We don’t have the answer to that question yet, we’re getting very close,” said Lt. Konopacki.

In the meantime, business and homeowners affected can only wait.

“Our public works folks will be going through the rubble piles,” said Lt. Konopacki, “we understand people have personal belongings that are lost that are out there in that rubble, it’s going to be a long process.”

Meanwhile, shops like Mr. Rudd’s is following the community’s lead in trying to get back to normal.

“We have great people here I think they’ll be downtown trying to support the community and getting thing going again,” said Labrenz.

Because police are still deciding whether to recommend criminal charges, they won’t give any details about who may be at fault, or exactly what ignited the gas.

They will say the stretch of Main Street near the blast will probably remain closed for at least a few weeks.

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