Second floor of downtown La Crosse apartment collapses - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Second floor of downtown La Crosse apartment collapses

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LA CROSSE (WXOW) – The second floor of a building collapsed Saturday night during a gathering of approximately 50 people, according to the La Crosse Fire Department.

Around 11 p.m., firefighters got the call that part of the second floor of 135 S. 6th Street collapsed.

Three people were hospitalized.

By the time fire crews arrived, everyone was out of the two-floor building, said La Crosse Fire Department Division Chief Mark Amann.

"As a shift commander my job is to make sure we have enough resources here to handle our problem. And on the way over here, you're just hearing the radio traffic. And after a quick 360 lap around the building and taking a quick look at what we had, I knew we had enough resources here to handle the problem," Amann said.

Crews smelled an odor of natural gas at the back of the building, according to Amann. They shut off the gas valve and power.

Following an inspection early Sunday morning, the city building inspector condemned the structure.

Amann said he's never seen anything like this.

"This is kind of an odd case we're still investigating," he said.

The building's first floor is made up of three commercial spaces. On the second floor there's one apartment toward the front of the building. In the back, there's a 30 by 30 foot room. That's the room that collapsed, according to owner Nathan Brooks, of River City Rental.

"I was just hoping everybody was okay. I was hoping there wasn't any deaths or major injuries... And you know, just frustrated," Brooks said.

Crystal McDaniel was listening to her radio when she heard yelling and shouting that over-powered her music.

"There were people just scattering, running everywhere, people crying, girls were on their phones," said McDaniel who lived across the street.

She went outside to see what the commotion was.

"We had people running though our backyard," McDaniel said. "They were running down that way, down this way. They were scattering everywhere."

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