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Fire & Rescue

Holmen family home destroyed in dryer fire

Kaitlyn Riley

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Photo Credit: Holmen Fire Department

A family of four lost its home and the family pet is missing after a dryer fire that happened early Sunday morning.

The Holmen Area Fire Department was dispatched at 12:56 a.m. to N7007 Sunrise Lane in the Town of Holmen.

The family heard smoke detectors and evacuated before fire crews arrived.

Holmen firefighters were on scene within 15 minutes to find the upper level of the home and garage were fully engulfed in flames.

The home was destroyed and the family’s 5-year-old black cat, Onyx, was missing.

No firefighters were hurt as they worked in freezing temperatures overnight to clear the scene just after 5 a.m.

Responding units from 17 separate agencies were requested. There were 23 units operating with 46 personnel on scene.

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 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.