Firefighters save bride's wedding after car bursts into flames

PUBLISHED: 13:27 26 July 2013 | UPDATED: 21:30 28 July 2013

Father-of-the-bride Michael Georgiou and his daughter Irene Georgiou

Father-of-the-bride Michael Georgiou and his daughter Irene Georgiou

Archant

ARRIVING at a church in a fire engine with its blue lights flashing, is not how many brides picture their grand entrance.

But Irini Critoph, nee Georgiou, made the unusual entrance after firefighters saved her big day.

Her bridal car burst into flames as she was about to leave for Christ Church, Little Heath, near Brookmans Park.

Irini, father Michael Georgiou and two bridesmaids were ready to set off on Sunday in her uncle’s 1969 vintage Plymouth Barracuda, when smoke began to billow from the front.

“I was just laughing at first, I’m quite a laid back person,” the 23-year-old bride told the WHT.

“At first It was a bit surreal, I was just laughing and thinking ‘can it really be happening’.”

Firefighters from Cheshunt rushed to Goffs Oak, where the Potters Bar resident was due to set off for her wedding, and soon quelled the flames.

They even rescued Champagne from the boot.

However as the car was now out of action there was the small matter of making it to the church on time.

The father-of-the-bride managed to persuade the crew to take his daughter to the church – but there was not enough space for all of them in the engine.

Michael said: “One of the firefighters had to go in a Nissan Micra with the bridesmaids and they were over the moon.

“We had a few panic stricken moments.”

The drama left the groom, Phillip Critoph, wondering what had happened to Irini as the events had made her 45 minutes late.

The 24-year-old said: “I was a bit worried, because Irene was a little bit late, but it was quite exciting.

“I didn’t see it, as I stayed in the church in case I saw Irini.

“I was worried but it was cool how she got there.”

As the engine pulled into the church the crew turned on the blue lights and guests flooded outside to see the unusual grand entrance.

Irini said: “It was good fun, we had a lot of guests outside the church taking pictures, I gave one of the firefighters one of my flowers.”

Although the car issues would have been enough to spoil other couples’ day, the Critophs had more misfortune the week before.

Phillip broke his collarbone paint balling on the stag do and it was touch and go if he would be fit enough for the wedding.

Thankfully he was and the day was a success.

The newlyweds jetted off to Rhodes, in Greece, for their two-week honeymoon on Wednesday.

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