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“We Are Wisconsin” Loses La Crosse Offices in Fire

And I give it 12 hours before the conspiracy theorists get to work on this news.

It just won’t stop burning.

A fire in the 400 block of Jay Street that has already claimed one building stubbornly refuses to go out, due partly, said Assistant Fire Chief Warren Thomas, to its rubber roof.

Crews cut holes in the rubber, but the water gets trapped and can’t do it’s job properly, he said.

With the burning building behind it knocked down, all the efforts of the La Crosse and Onalaska Fire Departments is now on the front building at 423 Jay St., particularly the southeast corner. If the fire in that corner gets out of control, Thomas said, it could jump to the building on the corner at Fifth Avenue and Jay Street.

“We don’t want it spreading.”

Beginning at about 9:30 a.m., crews attacked the fire from ladder trucks high above the roof tops as the blaze spread south.

By late afternoon crews brought in an excavator to demolish one structure after its roof collapsed earlier in the day.

The buildings are home to six apartments, whose residents all escaped safely. Firefighters have been treated for heat exhaustion throughout the day, but no one was seriously injured.

The structure also houses the local headquarters for We Are Wisconsin, a Democratic organizing group. It is a total loss, said group spokesman Kelly Steele.

Staff was inside when the fire broke out and escaped safely, he said.

It is unclear how the fire started.

At one point in the afternoon, it appeared the fire was under control, but new clouds of black smoke began billowing from storefront and apartment windows.

Police have blocked off Fifth Avenue from Main Street to Jay Street. Officials ask that you avoid driving downtown near the fire.

Given past reports from the gang at MacIver, I will admit, I’m a bit shocked to see the Shilling campaign offices weren’t effected either.

In multiple cities across the state, recall campaign offices for Democratic candidates and “We Are Wisconsin” offices share the same building.

No coordinating there, right?  (Where’s a BS complaint filing from Mike McCabe to the GAB when you need it?)

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