HUDSON — Two alert dogs were credited for giving a Hudson couple time to escape their burning house last weekend.
The black labs' barking allowed Hudson residents Scott and Michelle Such to get out of their house early Sunday, Aug. 27, though only one of the two dogs made it out alive.
Hudson Fire Chief Scott St. Martin said one dog escaped with the Suches, while the second dog was trapped in the burning two-story home at 1220 Ninth St.
Neighbor Dave Grzybowski said that dog's name was Sadie. The Suches' other dog, Buddy, was at Scott Such's side Monday, when he returned to the home to meet with a restoration contractor. Scott Such wasn't immediately available for comment.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist the Suches.
A fundraiser benefit will also be held at two events Sept. 10 in the Hudson area. The first event will be from 6-9 p.m. at Seasons Tavern in North Hudson; another event will be from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. at Dick's Bar and Grill in Hudson, with tips going to the family.
Grzybowski was among those 911 callers who reported the fire, which authorities responded to just before 6 a.m. He said he was awakened by the sound of Scott Such calling for Sadie.
"We looked out the window and it was ablaze," Grzybowski said.
St. Martin said the home's smoke detectors sounded, but it was the dogs that first got the couple's attention.
"The original wake-up was the dog," he said.
Firefighters arrived to find the home's entire south side engulfed in flames.
"It was amazing how fully involved it was," St. Martin said.
He said firefighters were able to save the Suches' garage, along with a neighbor's garage. An SUV seen parked in the driveway Monday appeared to have been totally destroyed by fire.
The fire's cause was under investigation, but St. Martin said authorities were looking into the possibility of "discarded smoking materials" among possible causes. A covered porch area was being examined as the fire's origin.
Firefighters from River Falls, Lower St. Croix Valley, the town of St. Joseph and Roberts assisted Hudson crews on the scene, which wasn't cleared until about 10 a.m.