A three-alarm fire resulted burned the Lakeview Pavilion in Foxborough on Saturday. It was a community landmark and the host of a wedding at the time the blaze started. Now, investigators have determined that the cause of the fire was a casually-tossed cigarette that landed on dry mulch.
“Literally as they were saying ‘I do’ we saw smoke,” said Jerry Cibley, the justice of the peace who officiated the Saturday night wedding.
“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,” Cibley said.
Initially, wedding guests threw cups of water at the flames when they first saw smoke, and the DJ went so far as to grab a fire extinguisher. However, when they saw smoke coming from an interior wall, they quickly got out. Upon seeing the entire building engulfed in flames, it was evident that nobody would be able to get back inside and the wedding was over.
Typical fire extinguishers, perhaps surprisingly, can go bad and need to be replaced every year. While that might not have been what caused the fire to spread so quickly here, every homeowner should keep that in mind if they don’t want to suffer the same fate as the Pavilion.
Unfortunately, the wedding that was taking place at the start of the fire is not the only party that will be impacted by the fire. Nearly 200 events, including weddings and proms, have to be moved now that the Lakeview Pavilion has been destroyed.
“I just can’t even process the fact that it’s gone, and it’s not going to be here anymore,” said Lauren Casey, who was scheduled to get married there on May 17.
“Our brides — that’s our priority right now. And we are getting in touch with other venues to make sure we find other places, and I’m sure they’re going to have the weddings of their dreams,” said Lakeview Pavilion’s Natalia Kapourelakos.
The owners attempted to ease the concerns of brides-to-be by assuring them that their deposit would be refunded. “We have all of the wedding deposits in savings account, and will be issuing refunds by U.S. Mail to all brides and grooms within one week,” they said in a statement.
That money will be much-needed by those who have to come up with a new plan on short notice.
“Start making phone calls, start from square one, hope to throw something together in a month, and go from there,” Brent Gillingham, Cibley’s fiancée said.
For one couple, remembering the date of their anniversary will certainly be easy, even though it may be for the wrong reasons. For the rest of the summer, couples might have to scramble to plan a memorable wedding.