LA CROSSE Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – A fire in downtown La Crosse last week resulted in the loss of one business and lingering effects for others.
A pair of downtown La Crosse businesses are picking up the pieces following last week’s fire. Even though the buildings next to the former India Curry House were preserved, assistant Fire Chief Steven Cash says they can’t be used just yet.
“They were looked at and they were deemed safe structurally, but the structure to the south took on some water damage, so it was condemned for human habitation. The same thing with the businesses to the north, they suffered water damage and smoke damage,” said Cash.
Glory Days sports pub and the River City Gold and Silver Exchange have both been condemned due to those damages, but that doesn’t mean the businesses are a complete loss.
“Once those elements are corrected, the building inspector will come back in and reinspect it, and if it meets the criteria for being corrected, then they release the condemnation sign and take it down,” said Cash.
Cash says building inspections are common practice after fires, and issuing condemnations is a better alternative than clearing away more rubble from 4th street.
While Cash praises the firefighters for keeping the fire contained to just the India Curry House building, he says the entire block could have been lost had it not been for protective measures the surrounding structures had built-in.
“There were firewalls in place that did a huge job in keeping that fire contained. It’s not the only thing that kept the fire contained, but it made our job as operational personnel to contain it a lot easier. Without those, there’s no doubt in my mind, under the windy conditions that we had, that that fire could have spread and become a lot worse,” said Cash.
Work is underway on cleaning out Glory Days and the Coin Exchange, but there’s no exact timetable on when the two businesses will reopen. The exact cause of the India Curry House fire remains under investigation.
Designing jewelers on 4th street was also declared condemned following the fire. The business has been repaired enough to have the distinction removed.