This is the story of an area couple whose burning love was greater than a blaze at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Wareham that occurred in the middle of the night last Saturday, September 22.

Onset firefighter Conrad Fernandez's heart fell when he got the call because that's where he and his bride-to-be were set to get wed in a matter of hours! She was praying it was a false alarm.

What are the chances that the church you're set to get married in bursts into flames just hours before, and you're one of the firefighters battling the blaze? In total, five engines, four ladders and many other vehicles responded, and by 5 a.m. the fire was knocked down, leaving behind $500,000 in damages. But to a bride and groom, the damage was putting their wedding ceremony at risk.

Conrad and his groomsmen started calling other Catholic churches in the entire area with their urgent request. By some small miracle, St. Julie Billiart Church in Dartmouth said yes. A notice was posted at St. Patrick's directing guests to the other church. The couple said it was a beautiful ceremony, thanks to a family friend who jumped in to assist.

Mr. and Mrs. Conrad Fernandez said the fire was additionally distressing because they are both parishioners and Catechism teachers at St. Patrick's. But all's well that ends well for a couple that will have plenty to talk about when they look back to their wedding day.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos.

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