La Crosse downtown restaurant building collapses after fire Thursday morning

Building was home to India Curry House, formerly Hunan Chinese restaurant

LA CROSSE (WKBT) — A downtown La Crosse building is a total loss following a fire early Thursday morning.

The fire inside the India Curry House began shortly after 4 a.m. and progressed into a larger fire a few hours later.

The building, along 4th Street across from the UPS Store, housed Hunan Chinese restaurant before it transitioned into the current India Curry House. Drivers are asked to avoid the area.

La Crosse fire crews were at the scene fighting the fire for several hours. Intense heat from the blaze forced the first on scene out of the building. According to a Facebook post from Batallion Chief Jeff Schott, residents from 16 apartments along the block were displaced. The Red Cross is assisting in finding occupancy for displaced individuals.  There were no injuries and crews rescued four cats. The Shelby Fire Department assisted La Crosse at the scene, with a total of 35 firefighters involved at some point.

“The fortunate part is we had our mutual aid partners in place,” Schott said. “So, you’ll see the Shelby fire truck is here, they’ve been on scene since early this morning. We’ve had Onalaska covering calls on the north side. We’ve also had Shelby covering calls on the south side because we had all hands working here – all units in the city.”

The fire rapidly advanced from the basement kitchen to the walls and floor of the structure, according to the La Crosse Fire Department.

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