A young Wisconsin bride died following a house fire that broke out hours before she was set to walk down the aisle.
Paige Ruddy died of a brain hemorrhage Wednesday after suffering smoke inhalation when her Reedsburg house caught fire Tuesday, the day of her nuptials to Logan Mitchell-Carter, NBC 15 reported.
The Ruddy family “went to sleep excited” for the joyful event, a GoFundMe page says.
“Instead, they were woken by police to be informed that there was a fire. Despite the amazing efforts of those who love her, the Reedsburg police and firefighters, EMTs, med flight, and the amazing staff at UW hospital over two horrible days, Paige could not be saved,” according to the fundraiser.
“She passed surrounded by her family and friends who took up a large waiting room in the hospital,” it adds.
Ruddy and Mitchell-Carter exchanged vows in a private ceremony Monday night ahead of the small wedding the next day with close family.
The newlywed lived at the home on West Second Street with Mitchell-Carter and his grandparents.
Ruddy’s aunt said the family does not believe there were working smoke detectors located in the home, which was owned by her beau’s grandparents.
“She was just a precious human. There was nothing about her that you couldn’t like,” the aunt, indentified as Holly, told NBC 15. “She was this presence you never knew you needed in your life, but always did.”
Ruddy planned to enroll in a vet tech program at Madison Area Technical College in the fall, according to her family.
Lily Markgraf, who graduated from Reedsburg Area High School with Ruddy in June 2022, said the two quickly became friends when she arrived in seventh grade.
”She had a big caring heart,” Markgraf told the outlet. “She was there for anyone who needed it, even if she didn’t like the person. If they needed her help, she’d be there to help them. I’m going to miss her for the rest of my life.”
“There are enough good qualities about Paige to fill up a room. Since she was a toddler Paige was full of life, ready to help anyone with anything, and an absolute joy to be around,” the GoFundMe page says.
“She was kind, fun, and according to her family had lots of spunk. Paige always worked hard at everything she did. All the normal things a kid does, but also extra things to help her grandparents, parents, siblings, and friends,” it says.