Proving fire can happen anytime and impact anyone, a Maryland couple and their family fled their home during a fire the morning of the couple's wedding.
According to news reports, the fire began around 2:30 a.m. at the bride-to-be's family home in Maryland. Seventeen family members and wedding party guests were home when the fire started. “I woke up, I woke my wife, and I’m like, something is burning,” one of the wedding guests told a Washington, D.C., ABC news station. “In five minutes, the whole thing was like in flames. Five minutes, the whole thing.”
The groom, Matthew Denakis, says he heard his mother-in-law screaming about the fire. Fortunately, everyone escaped safely and nobody was hurt, but the fire caused about $400,000 in damage to the home. Smoking materials may have been the culprit, according to authorities.
Firefighters were able to collect Denakis' Army uniform and shoes for the wedding. The wedding dress was safe since Coral, the bride, had stored it in Denakis' car the night before the fire. Rather than dwell on the negative, the couple decided to continue with the ceremony as planned. "My wife was gorgeous and breathtaking, and my uniform was cleaned," Denakis told the news station. "Decorations that were saved were amazing. It was a nice ending to a rather horrendous beginning."
Every home fire has a story. Hear ours by visiting the "survivor stories" page on NFPA's Fire Sprinkler Initiative site.