J.J. Watt makes donation to family of firefighter killed in explosion

J.J. Watt makes donation to family of firefighter killed in explosion

Taylor Palmby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Published 2:44 a.m. ET July 12, 2018 | Updated 3:02 a.m. ET July 12, 2018


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Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, a Wisconsin native who played college football at Wisconsin, donated $10,000 to a GoFundMe page created for Cory Barr, the fire captain who was killed in an explosion Tuesday evening in downtown Sun Prairie, Wis. 

The explosion, which injured 15 and killed Barr, occurred on the corner of Main and Bristol streets after a gas main was struck by a contractor, which caused a leak. Sun Prairie is located near Madison, which is where the University of Wisconsin is located, and about 60 miles from Watt’s hometown of Pewaukee.

Barr had been a member of the Sun Prairie Fire Department for 15 years. He was also a realtor and owner of The Barr House tavern, which was one of the buildings destroyed in the explosion. He is survived by his wife, Abby Barr, and twin daughters, who, according to Abby Barr, would shout “Daddy’s home!” whenever he walked through the door.

Watt’s donation is just one of over a thousand that have been made to support Barr’s family during this tragedy. 

Watt, the child of a firefighter, silently made his donation hours after a woman tweeted him asking for his support. 

Watt has not yet made any public comments about the donation, but he is a known philanthropist — he helped raise over $37 million for those affected by Hurricane Harvey and he donated $10,000 to a Texas student who was injured during a football game. 

Barr’s GoFundMe page has raised over $70,000. In addition, GoFundMe has created a centralized page for all GoFundMe campaigns involving the Sun Prairie explosion. To donate click here.


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