‘She had a big caring heart’: Bride-to-be dies after house fire on wedding day
REEDSBURG, Wis. (WMTV/Gray News) - Instead of celebrating a wedding, Paige Ruddy’s family is planning a funeral after she died as a result of a house fire on her wedding day.
The 19-year-old’s family explained Ruddy died of a brain hemorrhage Wednesday afternoon after suffering smoke inhalation on Tuesday.
“She was just a precious human. There was nothing about her that you couldn’t like,” Ruddy’s aunt Holly said. “She was this presence you never knew you needed in your life, but always did.”
Holly said Ruddy and her fiancée Logan Mitchell-Carter exchanged their vows privately Monday night before the small wedding. The couple wanted close family to join them at the Sauk County Courthouse for the ceremony which was supposed to be on Tuesday.
Lily Markgraf graduated from Reedsburg Area High School with Ruddy in June of 2022. Markgraf said Ruddy was the first friend she made when she moved to Reedsburg in seventh grade.
“She had a big caring heart,” Markgraf said. “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.”
Holly described her niece as a person who loved hard with a spunky and independent attitude.
The family will hold a private funeral service sometime within the next week. Holly said they will hold a public celebration of life at a future date.
Ruddy’s family asked that others honor her memory by hugging their loved ones tight.
Ruddy was living with her fiancée and his grandparents who owned the home in Reedsburg.
Holly said the family does not believe there were working smoke detectors located in the house, and asked that others double-check their own homes to prevent similar situations from happening to them.
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