Wedding guests battled Greek wild fires on Weston couple’s big day
PUBLISHED: 10:47 14 September 2020 | UPDATED: 10:47 14 September 2020
A Weston couple and their wedding guests battled wild fires which threatened to tear through the Greek villa where they were due to tie the knot.
Adam Thomas, who owns Weston Hair Studio, and Aaron Al-jeryan were due to get married in front of 32 of their close family and friends at a villa in Attica on September 9.
Just hours before the wedding, several of the guests received warnings from the Greek Government about bush fires in the area.
Aaron, aged 36, said: “Initially the villa owner was calm and confident the local fire brigade would put out the fires but when the sky filled with smoke all around the villa and ash started covering our decorations the situation became very tense.
“When the villa owner Nikolas saw how close the fire was to the villa we all rushed to connected hoses around the estate to create a water barrier in hope of stopping the fire engulfing the villa.”
The guests thought they were winning the battle as the air began to clear, but they had failed to spot a fire on the other side of the villa which was now just 200 metres away.
Aaron said: “As we scrambled to disconnect the hoses to take to the other side of the estate, local police screeched up the drive and demanded we leave with them straight away.
“We were evacuated to the beach. It was like being in a war zone. The police car was driving so fast, past burning bushes and olive trees, helicopters dropping sea water over burning grasses and houses.”
The party was given the all-clear to return to the villa a couple of hours later and the couple decided to go ahead with their wedding the next day.
However, as they were sitting on their balconies making the final arrangements, a second fire erupted just 20m from the villa and everyone was evacuated.
Aaron said: “Luckily the local fire brigade arrived quickly and brought the fire under control. We eventually returned to the villa after midnight.
“It was very scary but we had a trouble-free evening from that point and I was able to finally marry my partner Adam of 16 years the next day.
“Adam and I had always wanted a stress-free wedding abroad, but true to form, things never go the way we plan.
“But we are all arrived back at Bristol Airport and home to Weston safely with the crazy story of our time in Greece.”
The newly-weds returned home as Adam and Aaron Murray.
Speaking to the British Embassy Athens, villa owner Nikolas, praised the bravery of his Weston guests. He said: “It was incredible how the whole group, boys and girls, embraced me with our predicament, grabbed hoses, and practically everyone was holding a hose and watering down the land next door, to keep the fire from spreading onto our land and our livelihood.
“I was so moved, and I appreciated it so much – it shows the spirit and solidarity of the British people.”
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