LA CROSSE, WIS — A fire that recently engulfed a southside apartment building left residents with minimal losses, no injuries and – according to the fire department – made a surprising improvement to the building overall.
“Fire almost always ruins houses and apartments,” La Crosse firefighter Jallen Bunsenfreck said, “but this was the one case where the building was so bad before, that the fire actually raised the property value.”
The complex, housing 26 residents, boasted three parking spots on-street, one air conditioning unit they were “working on”, doors that would stay closed if it was above 86 degrees, free and permanent Marlboro Red air freshener scent, and what the health department is quoted as calling “walls that were 56% insulated with squirrel”.
Each room averaged about $825 per month in rent, with significant discounts for any tenants who committed to fighting the bats every night.
“It’s not the worst place in La Crosse,” one resident said. “And now with that fire that happened, it’ll probably be a little bit better.”
Once the debris is cleared, the fire department says residents can begin moving in again in as little as three hours.
Reporter Sam Shilts Contributed to this article.