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86-year-old Whitehall man dies in Trempealeau County brush fire

Kaitlyn Riley

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A brush fire turned into a fatal accident in Trempealeau County Friday.

An 86-year-old man, identified as Richard Morchinek of Whitehall, said he started the brush fire and his clothes started on fire, according to the Trempealeau County Sheriff’s Office.

The flames also spread to a barn on the property, setting it ablaze.

Morchinek was flown to Regents Hospital in St. Paul for treatment and died at 11:30 Friday night.

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in both radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

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