Student searches through rubble after fire destroys apartment

Fire destroys apartment complex on 800 block of Grove Street

After a fire completely destroyed an apartment complex Monday afternoon, residents spent all day Tuesday searching through rubble to see the extent of their loss.

Western Technical College student, Nash Thiry, is in the process of transferring to the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire for the ROTC program. He is in the midst of packing everything up and heading out for basic training in a few weeks, but now he said the fire just adds to the amount of work left to do before he leaves.

“Shock and awe I guess,” said Thiry. “It’s weird thinking‚Ķcoming here every night, cooking dinner and stuff, then going to bed. Now all that is just gone so kind of crazy.”

What was once Thiry’s hangout is now a pile of charred wood and water-soaked insulation.

“This was our closet with the laundry machine, it had two doors here, I don’t know where the other one is,” said Thiry. “This bathroom you can’t actually get into because the door is frozen shut.”

As Nash makes his way through the apartment, he’s not sure what he will find.

“This room right here, this is my room. For the most part, I mean it’s not horrible, Electronics definitely gone. Under here there’s a laptop somewhere,” said Thiry.

But Thiry considers himself one of the lucky ones.

“My room’s not horrible. Still got the roof over it but my roommate’s room over there is completely gone. Her roof and everything just came down on her bed and everything,” said Thiry.

When the fire broke out Monday afternoon, both of Thiry’s roommates were home.

“She said she was in her room and heard crackling, but wasn’t sure what it was,” said Thiry. “She thought I was still home so she was running around screaming for me, trying to get me out.”

Thankfully Thiry wasn’t home. Now reality is slowly starting to set back in as he tries to figure out what to do next.

“Yeah, definitely trying to get my mind wrapped around it, and get back on my feet and go from there,” said Thiry.

Thiry doesn’t have his own renter’s insurance, but he’s hoping his parents’ homeowners policy will help cover what he lost.

The American Red Cross in La Crosse gave residents money for food and clothing and will continue to help them as long as needed.