House Fire Changes Wedding Plans - - ABC13

House Fire Changes Wedding Plans


Prince Edward Co., VA-  It's hard enough to lose your home to a fire, but what if it happened just days before you were supposed to get married there? A family in Prince Edward County lived through that nightmare.

The fire happened  June 4, and they had the wedding June 9 at a neighbor's house. But it could've been a lot worse if the bride's father and grandmother hadn't made it out of that house when they did.

"We had mulched everything around the house and had it looking really great, " said Wayne Dowdy.

Dowdy spent months getting ready for his daughter's wedding. But he had no way of preparing for what would take place just days before the ceremony.

"The good Lord was looking after us, if I had slept another 5 or 10 minutes we wouldn't be here," said Dowdy.

Dowdy had fallen asleep for just an hour when a crackling noise woke him up.
His room was filled with smoke. With nowhere else to go, he jumped out his second story bedroom window onto the roof.

"There was no time to think you just had to do what you had to do," said Dowdy.

"I heard Wayne say, 'Mama, mama, I said, I'm right here,'" said Katherlene Dowdy, Wayne's mother.

Dowdy was in a rush to get to his 90-year-old mother who was sleeping in the basement.

"I couldn't see anything cause it was so black and I reached out and got his hand and he led me on up the steps," said Katherlene.

With everyone out safely, the next worry was his daughter's wedding, which was just 5 days away.

"We were supposed to have a band back here and a big tent over here but we just moved it all right over there," said Wayne

Dowdy's neighbor Randy Redden offered up his own backyard.

"Whatever they needed is what we gave them," said Redden.

So a wedding with around 350 guests went on as planned right next door to where it would have been.

"He'd do the same for me and wouldn't have batted an eye and I didn't bat an eye," said Redden.

Redden has also given Wayne a place to stay in his home for a while.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
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