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Church that firefighter was supposed to be married in, bursts into flames

By WCVB

WAREHAM, Mass. (WCVB) -- A Wareham church that an Onset firefighter was supposed to be married in, burst into flames hours before the ceremony.

The historic 78-year-old St. Patrick’s Church closed after a three-alarm fire caused $500,000 in damages.

“When the first company arrived, he had smoke coming from the roof of the building,” Wareham Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Patrick Haskell said.

As the fire grew, firefighters from other towns responded. Onset firefighter Conrad Fernandes didn’t just have his station calling him -- his fiancee was calling, as well.

The church on fire is the church that was supposed to host the couple’s wedding Saturday.

“I just figured it was a false alarm and they got there, and they said there was an active fire and we all just started screaming,” DaLiza Fernandes said.

“My guys were being called out, and I was literally on the phone with DaLiza and my phone started going off because I’m not responding to my phone,” Conrad Fernandes said.

Conrad Fernandes and his groomsmen started calling other Catholic churches for a new ceremony location. The couple moved the wedding to a church in Dartmouth.

The couple said the ceremony was beautiful, thanks to a family friend who jumped in to help.

“I can definitely smile about it and think that it’s crazy but maybe in 25 years or maybe 10 years maybe even tomorrow I’ll laugh about it, but I’m still shock because it’s definitely blowing my mind,” Conrad Fernandes said.

“First thing he said was, ‘It doesn’t matter, we’re getting married tomorrow. We’ll find anywhere. It doesn’t matter where, you’ll be Mrs. Fernandez tomorrow, and so that kind of helped me a lot,” DaLiza Fernandes said.

The couple said the fire was even more upsetting because they are both parishioners and Catechism teachers at St. Patrick’s.

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