Quick thinking chef stopped wedding party going up in flames

Ampthill Fire Fighters toast the happy couple. Photo: Kate Pearce
Ampthill Fire Fighters toast the happy couple. Photo: Kate Pearce

A quick-witted chef and favourable winds saved a newly-wed couple’s teepees from going up in flames.

Fire began to spread during Abi and Jonny Pearce’s wedding reception at Clophill Community Centre, and threatened to engulf the party tents.

When Bedfordshire firefighters arrived, they found a generator providing power for the reception had set several bales of hay and some jerry cans of fuel alight.

The crew had to send a firefighter in with a water-filled backpack to begin extinguishing the blaze as they lopped branches off a tree to allow their off-road rural water tender onto the site.

Once the way was clear, firefighters arrived at the reception and found that because of the work of a chef using a small hose, and because the wind was blowing away from the teepees, the fire had not yet reached the reception itself.

They then quickly used a hose from their fire engine to extinguish the fire.

Watch Manager Mark Fensome said: “This could have been a much bigger incident if the wind hadn’t been blowing away from the teepees where the reception was being held and the quick witted chef hadn’t been so successful with his own fire fighting efforts.

“I think some of the guests thought our turning out was all part of the entertainment. We did get offered a drink and toasted the bride and groom with lemonade. I hope their married life is a bit calmer than their wedding day and we all wish them well.”

Abi and Jonny Pearce said: “We’d like to thank Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, the situation would have been much worse had it not been for their quick response. We are incredibly grateful!”

Ampthill on-call Firefighters were summoned to the event at 4.13pm on Saturday, June 13.