A wedding ceremony at Lakeview Pavilion in Foxborough, Massachusetts was interrupted by a three-alarm fire that started when an unknown person tossed their cigarette butt into nearby mulch.
"Literally as they were saying 'I do' we saw smoke," Jerry Cibley, the justice of the peace who officiated, told The Boston Globe
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The DJ went for the fire extinguisher, and everyone threw cups of water on the flames, but the wedding party realized they needed to get out when they saw smoke coming from an interior wall in the building.
The building, built in 1906, was not required by law to have a sprinkler system installed and quickly went up in flames to the horror of the wedding party and building security.
"The groom was beside himself. He was excited about his beautiful wedding and he didn’t know what to say or what to do — he was angry and emotional," said Cibley.
The bride was mostly quiet, he added.
"It’s an old building with an old wooden frame," Deputy Fire Chief Steven Bagley said Sunday at the scene. "The fire appeared to be spreading not only up the wall but through the ceilings and through a good part of the structure."
The building was a total loss, and crews worked quickly to demolish and clear the building's remains. They did, however, keep the historic wooden sign that emblazoned the archway over the entrance and gave it to the owners. The owners are already talking about rebuilding, Bagley said.
Because of all the water poured on the blaze to put it out, a sinkhole opened up on Lakeview Road nearby. The highway department quickly responded to repair it.
No one was reportedly injured out of the roughly 100 guests in attendance, and fire officials praised the building's security for getting everyone out safely. Many weddings were booked at the venue this spring, and nearby venues have offered discounts for anyone in need.
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