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Cigarette Tossed In Mulch Caused 3-Alarm Wedding Venue Fire

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (CBS/AP) — A firefighter says a cigarette tossed onto mulch caused a destructive fire at a popular wedding venue in Foxborough.

Deputy Fire Chief Steven Bagley tells WBZ-TV, that the fire at the Lakeview Pavilion on Saturday night then spread to the building.

No injuries were reported.

Bagley says the building did not have sprinklers and firefighters took water from a nearby pond. He says the building is being demolished.

Foxboro's Lakeview Pavilion. (WBZ-TV)

Justice of the Peace Jerry Cibley said the fire began at the end of a wedding as the couple, their groomsmen and bridesmaids walked down the center aisle.

The Fire Department tells WBZ-TV, they don't expect charges to be filed.

Foxboro Fire Department Capt. Edward Noonan said the Lakeview staff did a great job getting everybody out of the building.

He said there was some resistance by people about leaving. "It's an unbelievable event and they may not have believed what they were witnessing," he said. "It occurred very, very quickly."

The three-alarm fire destroyed more than a building.

Months of planning by brides and grooms went up in smoke when the 108-year-old venue was destroyed.

A special ambiance drew bride Melanie Silva to the now burned down Lakeview Pavillion.

"It was just beautiful," she said. "It's the draperies the lights.  It made it very romantic and it could accommodate our 200 guests."

The fire affects not only the wedding reception but other plans as well for Silva and her fiance Jason whose wedding at the Lakeview was scheduled for July 19.

"Plane tickets, hotels, we took time off work, we already booked our honeymoon so we're kind of set on that date," Silva said .

Now they and many other couples are scrambling to make alternative plans – some with much more urgent needs.

Mandy Brady and Brian Doherty's wedding was scheduled for this coming weekend. Eighteen months of planning, sending invites, and picturing their big day, is wiped out.

"We've been contacting venue after venue and everything is booked because it's only 6 days away," Brady said. "We just hope we find something," .

"Everything that you pictured over the years about how your day is gonna go and now you're starting from scratch in a week," Doherty said.

"Our heart is broken today for our brides and their families," said Lakeview Pavilion owner Natalia Kapourelakos.

The Pavillion released the following statement Sunday:

 The Kourtidis Family is devastated by the loss of the beautiful function facility that we have nurtured for over 25 years. We are so thankful that none of the guests, employees or first responders were injured. Words cannot describe how indebted we are to our employees who acted so quickly and most importantly to the fire fighters and policemen from Foxboro and surrounding towns who fought for hours to extinguish the fire. Our thoughts are with the couple who exchanged vows at Lakeview right before the building was evacuated. We want all of our Brides and Grooms and Customers to know that they are our first priority. We are dedicated to making sure that they still have the wedding or event of their dreams. We are in contact with venues in the area and will be assisting all of you as you transition to a new location. We are in the process of arranging for temporary office space. Until then, we will be available via email at Starting tomorrow please check our website daily for updates.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)




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