La Crosse, WI (WXOW) - Cleanup from the fire in UW-La Crosse's Wittich Hall is expected to take at least a month.
Firefighters were called to the second oldest academic building on campus around 10:45 p.m. Saturday, June 16. The fire started in and was contained to a basement storage area, but there is extensive smoke damage throughout the building. The fire started near a power strip on the wall and has been ruled accidental, according to La Crosse Fire Department investigators.
Following a review of fire damage by the state adjuster on Tuesday, the university is proceeding with getting more details of the scope of work for cleaning and restoration of the building, says Bob Hetzel, Vice Chancellor for Administration & Finance.
"We anticipate it will take several weeks to fully clean the building and repair the damage from the fire," says Hetzel.
The building is likely to be off-line for a month while restoration work is completed. During the next several days, employees who worked in the building will be allowed in to retrieve work and personal items.
State risk management officials have not yet been able to provide a cost estimate for the restoration.
Wittich Hall was built in 1916 and is the original physical education building on campus. The building was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on April 11, 1985.
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