Apartment with collapsed floor not registered with city - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Apartment with collapsed floor not registered with city

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - It was the second floor at 135 S. 6th Street that caved in Saturday night.

But when word got to the city about the address, they didn't see it on record.

That's because 135 S. 6th Street was never given an official address. Nor has it been registered as a rental.

"It's never (been) officially registered as a rental per our municipal ordinance," said David Reinhart, chief building inspector for the city of La Crosse. "We may issue a citation for that. If he's a landlord and should know it should be registered."

Even though the address is not registered with the city, mail can be delivered to the building, Reinheart said. But it has also not been declared a rental unit even though five people were living there at the time of the collapse.

This will most likely warrant a fee of $240 for the ordinance violation, Reinhart added.

The city inspects all registered rentals every five years for "life safety" issues. These include making sure smoke detectors and fire exits are up to code.

News 19 got hold of the official order given to owner Nathan Brooks. It says, "Not less than 60 days prior to is conversion to a rental dwelling… register… with the Chief Inspector."

Brooks now has until Oct. 8 to do so.

Brooks owned the building since late 2008. In that time, he said he's lived there with his family, then rented the space to tenants.

Brooks said registering the apartment was not his top priority at the time, but he doesn't dispute the fact it's something he needs to do.

City inspectors examined the area again Tuesday.

Right now the building has four orders to correct.

These include vacating the tenants, repairing the second floor, creating a second fire exit and registering the address as a rental unit.

The city said they will not remove the condemned signs from the building until the floor is repaired and the space is considered safe to use. Until then, it cannot be rented out.

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