Fire sends pair racing down the aisle

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IOL pic jun11 Wildfire Wedding Photo

Associated Press

In this photograph provided by Josh Newton, newlyweds Michael Wolber and April Hartley pose for a picture near Bend as a wildfire burns in the background. Picture: Josh Newton, via AP

 

Bend, Oregon - A wildfire that disrupted a couple's wedding also gave them the photograph of a lifetime.

A fire truck rolled up in the north-western state of Oregon with sirens blaring on Saturday and the wedding party was told to evacuate, The Oregonian reported.

The minister conducted an abbreviated ceremony. Everyone cheered and began to evacuate to downtown Bend's Drake Park for the reception.

As guests headed for the cars, wedding photographer Josh Newton took some photos of the couple with the wildfire raging in the background.

Michael Wolber called it “the most beautiful ceremony either of us could have ever imagined”. He and his wife, April Hartley, live in Aloha and both work at Nike.

“It's terrible to be evacuated from your own wedding,” said Lisa Clark, a fire information officer with the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Centre. “But it's a story for the rest of their lives and nothing that could be duplicated.”

The wedding venue was on the edge of the wind-pushed fire and deputies and fire trucks were driving through the area telling people to evacuate as a precaution.

“It is an accurate picture,” she said on Tuesday about the widely viewed photo.

Firefighters were probably sympathetic to the wedding party with the disruption and permitted the quick ceremony.

“I don't think the firefighters would have allowed the extra few minutes if it had been that critical,” Clark said. - Sapa-AP


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