Two La Crosse residences sustained damage in separate fires Tuesday.
A caller reported smoke coming from 2614 Jackson St. just after 9 a.m., and crews arrived within three minutes to find smoke and flames coming from the roof, said Assistant Chief Craig Snyder.
La Crosse firefighters spray water on a hot spot while fighting a blaze at 2614 Jackson St.
Firefighters entered the older home, which was unoccupied at the time, and discovered the fire was spreading inside the walls and attic. Crews then retreated and attempted to douse the blaze from above.
“When that fire gets in the walls it moves around at will,” Snyder said.
Firefighters later re-entered the home to extinguish the blaze. The building sustained heavy smoke and fire damage, and the second story was open to the street as firefighters continued spraying water onto the charred frame after noon Tuesday.
Up to 30 firefighters were on scene, with crews using a city bus to warm up in sub-zero temperatures. The water supply did not freeze, but water dumped onto the fire quickly froze creating a fall hazard.
“Cold is always a hindrance,” Snyder said.
With firefighters still on the scene at 12:40 p.m., the fire department responded to another fire at 700 Market St., where they found smoke and fire in a first-floor apartment. Two residents had exited the building when firefighters arrived, and the other 11 units were unoccupied, said Capt. Greg Temp.
Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire but were on the scene for about two hours. The building sustained moderate smoke and fire damage, according to the fire department.
Investigators were looking into the cause of both fires Tuesday afternoon.
From Tribune files: Fires damage La Crosse area buildings
1915: Logan High School
This scene shows spectators watching a fire March 2, 1915, at the old Logan School which was located on the northeast corner of Logan and Avon streets. There were 350 kindergarten through ninth grade students in the school when the fire broke out but they all safely evacuated the building within 40 seconds — with the quick exit due to the students having practiced frequent fire drills according to Tribune files. This school, which opened in 1892, was repaired after the fire and continued to serve students into the early 1930s before being razed in 1934. The former site of the school is now occupied by Logan Middle School. Anyone with more information about this photo or wishing to donate photos of the Coulee Region may contact the La Crosse Public Library Archives at 608-789-7136.
1916: The Cameron House
Spectators watch as La Crosse firefighters, perched atop a snow-covered passenger platform canopy, battle a blaze at the old Milwaukee Railroad passenger depot and Cameron House hotel on Dec. 24, 1916. This fire 100 years ago gutted the brick-veneered structure, and it was razed shortly afterward. No lives were lost as all the hotel occupants escaped, some of them dressed only in their nightclothes. Completed in 1880 on the southwest corner of Second and Vine streets, this combination depot-hotel at one time had 13 passenger trains arriving and departing daily. During its early days the Cameron House’s dining room gave La Crosse the reputation as “the town where you get that splendid meal,” and its fame was as well known in Montreal or Quebec as in St. Paul or Kansas City, according to Tribune files. The former site of this one-time landmark is now occupied by a parking lot. Anyone with more information about this photo or wishing to donate photos of the Coulee Region may contact the La Crosse Public Library Archives at 608-789-7136.
1935: Listman Mill
This snapshot, taken from La Crosse’s old wagon bridge during the early morning hours of Oct. 28, 1935, shows the old Listman Mill engulfed in flames during the fire that gutted the six-story complex. Thousands of spectators turned out to watch the blaze, whose flames shot hundreds of feet into the air and scattered burning embers over a huge area, according to Tribune files. The Listman Mill, which was located on the riverfront between Jay and King streets, was well known as the producer of Marvel Flour during the late 19th century and early 20th century, though the plant sat largely idle from 1918 to 1935 due to labor strife. The former site of the mill is now occupied by the Riverside Center South building and the north section of the Weber Center for the Performing Arts. Anyone with more information about this photo or wishing to donate photos of the Coulee Region may contact the La Crosse Public Library Archives at 608-789-7136.
1948 La Crosse Auto Supply fire
Hundreds of spectators crowd the scene of a fire that gutted the La Crosse Auto Supply Co. at 125 S. Sixth St. on May 9, 1948. The Auto Supply Co. was located next door to the Johnson Motor Co., a Dodge-Plymouth auto dealership, which suffered smoke and water damage from the fire. The old La Crosse Auto Supply Co. building is currently occupied by Kathy’s Cookie Co.
1950: Heileman Brewery
Firefighters are at the scene of a Feb. 24, 1950, fire which damaged the Heileman Brewery stockhouse (at left) in the 200 block of Winnebago Street. The seven-story stockhouse was then under construction, with the fire taking place on the fourth and fifth floors in insulated walls consisting of cork and tar according to Tribune files. The burning tar created huge plumes of black smoke, which attracted a large crowd of spectators despite below-zero weather.
1951: Swanson building
This photo, taken Feb. 21, 1951, shows the ruins of the old Swanson Building after an overnight fire gutted the building, which was located at the east end of Clinton Street. Elmer Swanson, who owned the building and maintained offices there for Swanson’s Heavy Movers Inc., was sleeping in an apartment on the second floor when the fire broke out but safely escaped, according to Tribune files. Other businesses that occupied the building at that time were Aircraft Parts Mfg. Co., American Beverage Sales, La Crosse Truck Equipment Co., Mathy Construction Co., Osweiler Van Service and the Scott-Dillon Tobacco Co. Anyone with more information about this photo or wishing to donate photos of the Coulee Region may contact the La Crosse Public Library Archives at 608-789-7136.
1954: R.E. Osborne 5 and 10-cent Store
Ladders and hoses were plentiful as La Crosse firemen battled a blaze at the R.E. Osborne 5 and 10-cent Store on Dec. 13, 1954. The fire, which began in the basement of the Osborne store at 1201 Caledonia St., gutted the building and an adjoining business, the Haraldson Shoe Store at 1203 Caledonia St. (not shown). The Osborne building was later razed and replaced by a one-story building that was home to a Ben Franklin store for many years before being occupied by the building’s current tenant, Options Clinic. This view of the fire was taken from St. Paul Street and also shows the Buckhorn Tavern at 621 St. Paul St. This building remains standing today and is now home to Dewey’s Side Street Saloon. Anyone with more information about this photo or wishing to donate photos of the Coulee Region may call the La Crosse Public Library Archives at 608-789-7136.
1972: Menard's Cashway Lumber
La Crosse firefighters battle a fire in the lumberyard at the Menard's Cashway Lumber location in April 1972 at 47 Copeland Ave. The damage was estimated at about $75,000.
1980: North Side apartment building
This photo shows La Crosse firefighters fighting a Jan. 27, 1980, fire that destroyed an apartment building under construction in the 200 block of Liberty Street. Thirty firefighters worked in below-zero temperatures at this fire, which took four hours to extinguish, according to Tribune files. Anyone with more information about this photo or wishing to donate photos of the Coulee Region may contact the La Crosse Public Library Archives at 608-789-7136.
1982: Caledonia Street
La Crosse firefighters battle a blaze at 912 Caledonia St. on March 8, 1982. The building housed Tri-State Refrigeration, H&R Block and an upstairs apartment.
1982: La Crosse Garment Co.
A firefighter signals for more water as a blaze badly damages a warehouse for The La Crosse Garment Co. on Jan. 14, 1982, at the corner of Eighth and Adams streets. Erected in 1887 for the Salzer Seed Co., this building no longer exists and its former site is now occupied by a one-story Salzer Square apartment building.
2002: Ridgeview Inn
A kitchen fire in April 2002 destroyed Ridgeview Inn, east of La Crosse.
2009: Copeland Avenue apartments
La Crosse firefighters hose down an apartment next to Charlotte's Bridal and Formal Weal on April 19, 2009, along Copeland Avenue.
2011: El Charro Mexican Restaurant
Firefighter pour water onto the remains of the El Charro Mexican Restaurant in Crossing Meadows in Onalaska on April 4, 2011. The building was later torn down, and Shogun Sushi and Hibachi opened in that spot in 2014.
2011: Jay Street building
La Crosse firefighters soak a building along Jay Street near Fifth Avenue on July 30, 2011. The structure was a total loss.
These photos are filled with many familiar faces and places from our area's past.