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Couple's Wedding - Blaze Sets Cross On Fire, Brides Mother Breaks Hip

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matcom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 10:44 AM
Original message
Couple's Wedding - Blaze Sets Cross On Fire, Brides Mother Breaks Hip
Edited on Wed Jul-20-05 10:47 AM by matcom

Everyone wants a memorable wedding day, of course, with a scrapbook-full of wondrous moments.

Victoria Willmert and Christopher Baker now certainly have that.

Uh, one other thing, too -- everyone survived.

But first things last ...

It was a gorgeous day for a wedding.

Sunny. Dry. Warm.

A Baptist, Victoria's church in Lincoln was not air-conditioned, so to be safe and also comfortable, they had chosen nearby St. John United Church of Christ as a site instead.

"Sure you can use our church," proclaimed Rich Reinwald, pastor at St. John's, in a gesture of interdenominational kindness.

The big day had arrived.

The church filled with guests.

Everyone was basking in 68-degree comfort as the candles in a candelabra were lit, the couple came down the aisle, the ceremony commenced, the vows were exchanged and Baptist Pastor Robert Henderson was about to pronounce them officially paired when a bridesmaid facing the altar, noticed something odd about the candles.

They were too close to the silk wedding flowers.

The flowers were on fire, in fact.

"Pastor, you might want to turn around," she whispered calmly at the top of her lungs.

Pastor Henderson did.

By now, the flowers were burning quite vigorously.

It was such a blaze, little orange fire balls were dropping to the floor.

Trying to stay calm, the pastor reached up and, with his bare hands, tried to snuff the engulfing flames.

That didn't work.

The bridesmaid, Sara Netzley, quickly scrambled to get a fire extinguisher.

By now, with the flowers fully involved, the flames reached up and set the church's wooden cross on fire.

As the blaze reached even more skyward, the heroic bridesmaid, Sara, squished the extinguisher handle like it was a three-alarm fire and the flames were quelled as a soft, silt-like powder calmly fell over the wedding party.

This wasn't wedding rice.

It was fire extinguisher crud.

By now, the Lincoln fire department was arriving, greeted by harried wedding guests, some of whom were heading the other way.

Lincoln police wheeled up next as a small crowd of curious onlookers began to form outside.

If this was not happening, no one would have believed this was happening.

After calm was restored, the wedding party reassembled and the ceremony successfully completed ("as strange as it might sound," said Dennis Willmert, father of the bride, "it was a nice service"), Victoria's mother, Marilyn, went up to the altar to view the scene.

That's when unfortunately, she missed a step.

She tripped, hitting the edge of a church pew with her rib, leg and hip.

Fearing the bride's mom had broken a rib, a guest called the rescue squad.

(Or as Dennis Willmert wryly puts it, "At one point, the fire department, the police department and the paramedics were all there -- at once.")

Marilyn was placed on a backboard.

They strapped on a neck brace.

She was carried out of the church on a gurney as the crowd now wondered if this was a small wedding or a full-scale terrorist attack.

There is good news here.

Marilyn is fine. So is everyone else.

Pastor Henderson was treated for his burns and is back preaching.
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MercutioATC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 10:48 AM
Response to Original message
1. Funny story.
If I hadn't seen a his picture, though, I'd have sworn that Bill Flick (the journalist) was a victim of No Child Left Behind.

Atrocious writing.
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Love Bug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 11:09 AM
Response to Original message
2. Well, I guess that's the last time that pastor loans out his church!
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Lisa0825 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 11:09 AM
Response to Original message
3. Great story!
I gotta share that with my newlywed friend. She had a lot of minor catastrophes. This will make her feel lucky!
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