LA CROSSE, WI (WXOW)—UPDATE: The triplex at 607 Wall Street is a total loss after a structure fire on Wednesday, September 11, 2013.
The La Crosse Fire Department says no one was injured, however all of the tenants lost most of their belongings and one woman's cat died in the fire.
On Wednesday night, the two story building was demolished.
A pile of rubble is all that is left at the site and it will be removed later this week or early next week.
The official cause of the fire is under investigation by the La Crosse Fire Department.
One tenants tells News 19 that a young child approximately two or three years old accidentally started the fire in a bedroom on the first floor.
She also said the woman watching the child tried to put the fire out, however it quickly got out of control.
Firefighters were called to the residence at 8 a.m. Wednesday morning.
When crews arrived at the scene, the triplex was filled with smoke and was completely engulfed in flames.
There were five tenants in building.
The tenants said smoke detectors did not go off, however everyone was able to make it out safely and one tenant called for help.
Crews spent the majority of the day (9/11) checking for hot spots.
A husband and wife lived upstairs, a mother and son in the back of the building and two women shared a front apartment.
The Fire Department rescued one cat named Piggy.
Piggy's whiskers were scored and was taken to the vet.
Firefighters say the renter's other cat, Wheezy, died in the fire.
The building is severely damaged and all tenants have lost most of their belongings.
The tenants said they are devastated, shocked and heartbroken, however they are thankful everyone made it out safely.
Jake LaFlair lives upstairs; he said he woke up to smoke in his bedroom.
He and his wife just moved to La Crosse in July.
Jake nor any of the tenants have renter's insurance.
The Salvation Army and Red Cross were on the scene assisting the families and the fire department.
The renters were given lodging accommodations for three days at the Super 8 Motel and also a gift card to purchase food and personal items.
Some are setting up a financial support option.
We will have more about this once the sites go live.
Amidst the rubble, crews also recovered a guitar, a woman's wedding ring, her purse, a wedding picture of her and her husband and an American Flag.
Stay tune to News 19 for the latest updates on this story.
Along with video, we also have a photo slide show of the fire.
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