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Cigarette Causes Fire At Century-Old Wedding Venue

Cigarette Causes Fire At Century-Old Wedding Venue

A three-alarm fire has destroyed a century-old wedding venue, and it happened right as a Massachusetts couple tied the knot Saturday.

Officials told WHDH a"careless disposal" of a cigarette near the building caused the blaze as wedding guests as well as the bride and groom were gathered inside the building.

The man who officiated the wedding in front of about 100 guests told The Boston Globe: "Literally as they were saying 'I do' we saw smoke. ... [The groom] didn't know what to say or what to do - he was angry and emotional."

Luckily, there were no injuries reported in the weekend fire. According to WBZ-TV, the 108-year-old venue didn't have any sprinklers. Officials say the building is being demolished.

WFXT reports dozens of other couples who had planned to get married at the venue later this year are now having to look elsewhere.

"Our wedding is on a Saturday in the middle of July - the busy season. We already booked our honeymoon. We don't know if we can get that money back. We sent out save the dates."

The building's owner told WHDH she's going to do what she can to help couples find other venues. Officials say they believe the fire was an accident. No one is expected to face charges.

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abourge458 April 08 2014 at 12:36 AM

Obviously it DOES happen but........... In MOST cases where a fire is labeled "Caused by careless disposing of smoking materials " it usually really means the fire inspector couldn't find a cause (such as evidence of arson/incendiary materials ) or electrical causes.

Blaming smokers is a catch-all that gives the inspectors something legit sounding to put in a report.
Unless you have a witness that saw a butt thrown, followed by a fire within minutes ( rare) he's GUESSING.
Be real... A fire burns down a building and uhhh... There's a butt remnant to prove it?
What? Fireproof butts?
Barring hard evidence, an insurance fraud is just as probable, but you can't risk a libel suit saying that.
A decorative candle/Chinese lantern on a windy day could do it, but no owner's gonna cop to having one there? So...the old anonymous smoker takes the rap.
If the usual phrasing was "Posibly caused by" it wouldn't annoy me so much, but stating as fact with no real evidence leaves folks gossiping "Maybe Uncle Joe, or Aunt Helen" or one of the 90 people that disposed of a butt responsibly etc. By next year it's... "Remember when Uncle Joe burned down the Pavillion?"
An experienced inspector can be good but.... Not psychic. They're just too shy to admit "I don't know."

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2 replies
Carolyn abourge458 April 08 2014 at 1:52 AM

Maybe that's why there shouldn't be smoking in a public venue - then the "innocent" cigarette wouldn't be blamed -

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1 reply
abourge458 Carolyn April 08 2014 at 2:02 AM

Actually, in Massachusetts where this happened, there is NO smoking in any public buildings. One exception is in public housing units indoors ( Sometimes called "Projects" ) but they are changing that "as we speak."
They are saying they believe this started outside near the building.

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aspman07 abourge458 April 08 2014 at 4:55 AM

It is obvious you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

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harmonie555 April 07 2014 at 12:13 PM

It wasn't a cigarette that started the fire. It was the moron who carelessly disposed of a still-lit cigarette who started the fire. But of course it is easier to point fingers at those evil cigarettes, and now we can have a knee-jerk reaction to further ban tobacco use!

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2 replies
mark harmonie555 April 07 2014 at 12:29 PM

It is way easier to eliminate cigarettes than the teach cigarette smokers NOT to carelessly dispose of their butts. Smoking is a stupid thing to do and therefore only the stupid will smoke. And as Ron White clearly said, "You can't fix stupid."

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2 replies
Jvogelsang21 mark April 07 2014 at 12:52 PM

Mark - Ron White is a smoker, so according to you he is stupid, but yet you quote him. You are obviously lacking sense

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exitca mark April 07 2014 at 1:08 PM

That must be why the government is trying to get states to leagalize weed.

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exitca harmonie555 April 07 2014 at 1:06 PM

Yea, but lets legalize weed. One of the worst things that could happen, a spaced out country.

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emmitch32 April 07 2014 at 12:04 PM

Wow....he was angry huh? How about grateful that nobody was hurt? Later, be angry at the idiot you invited to your wedding who still smokes and burned the building down.

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1 reply
vpzeec emmitch32 April 07 2014 at 12:54 PM

Could have been employee, employees smoke too.

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Spinnaker April 07 2014 at 11:56 AM

What can go wrong , will go wrong. Chalk it up to another Life Lesson.

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chasesea April 07 2014 at 11:42 AM

So some idiot who doesn't know how to put out a cigarette burned down an establishment and could've killed people, and no one will be charged because it was an "accident". Wow. No wonder people have no respect for anything anymore. No one is ever held accountable for their actions anymore. As far as I'm concerned, that moron is responsible. I would press charges if I were the owner.

We are slowly destroying ourselves. No values, no respect...just nothing.

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oujoou April 07 2014 at 3:19 PM

Just checked. You CAN get married in the Vatican. In St Peter's Basilica. If weddings and marriage mean that much to people . . . I'm wondering why it's only a 4 month wait to get married there. If you are not Christian . . . then what do the vows MEAN to you? There used to be an ad in Rolling Stone in the 60's or 70's for umm a certificate that allows people who wanted to marry other people . . . as in preside over the wedding and join husband and wife . . . to do it legally. There's a guy in town here who responded to that ad and has done 6 weddings. And according to the article in the paper . . . none of his weddings have ever resulted in a divorce or separation. :) My friend Jennifer got married in Hawaii. :)

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1 reply
David S. oujoou April 07 2014 at 3:21 PM

What? You cannot married in the Vatican....

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Grama Fluff Fluf April 07 2014 at 3:40 PM

Now thats bad. Years ago a month before my brothers wedding the venue went bankrupt. He didn't even know till I happend to drive by it and see it was shut down.

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mortwiw April 07 2014 at 3:54 PM

It would have been worth mentioning the name of this historic century old venue. That would be a nice detail to have made the story more complete and is definitely more than something of idle curiousity and maybe even including a hint of what it had been. For myself, a picture of the historic building would have been a nice touch also (I know there were pictures provided but something that was before being engulfed in flames is what I'm talking about).

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1 reply
suz mortwiw April 07 2014 at 6:54 PM

Foxborough Lakeview Pavilion. Is that not the name of the place?

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1 reply
sp433 suz April 07 2014 at 8:21 PM

Yes it is Lakeview Pavilion in Foxboro.

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Jvogelsang21 April 07 2014 at 12:54 PM

So accidents happen regardless of source - If this building is Historic, then the owner/operator should have had a sprinkler system installed to further preserve it

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2 replies
filliperogers Jvogelsang21 April 07 2014 at 4:11 PM

Or provide a certain spot for puffing and supply ash trays for disposal.

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wildgypsy46 Jvogelsang21 April 08 2014 at 1:17 AM

If this was an official Historic bldg they could not install a sprinkler system since these systems di not exist back when it was built!

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cgssnavickas April 07 2014 at 12:26 PM

I understand the couple being upset, but whoever started to fire should be held responsible. Only an idiot would toss a still smoldering cigarette on the ground. A similar type of incident recently happened in Edison, NJ where a grade school burned due to the custodian's negligence. The fire was started by a smoldering cigarette tossed into the trash. They didn't have sprinklers in the school, either. Luckily, this took place on a Saturday so no students were hurt.

My one question is: why didn't the venue update the building with sprinkers? If the building had no sprinkler system, why didn't the venue have a no smoking, no candle burning policy? I would think that public venues would have a building code, no matter what the age of the building is.

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1 reply
mhdjl cgssnavickas April 07 2014 at 12:41 PM

In many areas around the country, older buildings are "grandfathered" when new laws are passed, so they do not have to go through updating to meet the new code. That said, it would have been wise to have a sprinkler system in the building, since at the very least, it might have been considered to have some historic value. However, if the cigarette was thrown against the building, I don't know if sprinklers would have saved it.

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