Honeymoon couple flee hotel after blaze

A couple who enjoyed a fairytale wedding suffered a nightmare honeymoon after having to flee their hotel as it was ravaged by a forest fire. Kieron and Amanda Dudley married for real three years after meeting while modelling as newlyweds for a wedding brochure.

A couple who enjoyed a fairytale wedding suffered a nightmare honeymoon after having to flee their hotel as it was ravaged by a forest fire.

Kieron and Amanda Dudley married for real three years after meeting while modelling as newlyweds for a wedding brochure.

However, while on their honeymoon in Sicily, they became caught up in the wind-whipped fires which have ravaged parts of the area and killed three people, as it reached their hotel in Cefalu, about 45 miles east of Palermo.

As the flames moved closer to their hotel, the couple were among dozens who had to flee and spend the night in a hotel nearby.

When they returned to the hotel the next day, parts of it had been burnt to the ground, but thankfully no-one had been hurt. Miraculously their belongings were not damaged.

The couple flew from Gatwick to Venice on August 12 spending three nights in Venice, another three in Florence then Rome before flying to Catania in Sicily.

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They then hired a car to drive to Cefalu, where they arrived on August 21, staying at the Hotel Alberi del Paradiso.

Now safely back at their home in Forncett St Peter, Mrs Dudley, nee Semmence, 32, said: “The first night we noticed a few people standing round the pool looking up at the hills behind. We saw flames engulf terraced houses and a farmhouse in the distance, and we saw a plane dropping water on the fire, but it was a long way from us.

“The next morning there were no flames and we headed to the beach. But on the beach we could see more smoke coming from a different part of the hillside.

“It felt like we were lying at the bottom of a volcano. Bits of ash were dropping on us, and the smoke was blocking out the sun.

“We could feel a lot of hot air and it got too much for us so we went back to the hotel.

“When we got there the fire at the top of the hill had moved closer and there was another fire in the valley behind the hotel. Ash was being dropped everywhere, and we had to cover our eyes and mouths.

“The rest is a bit of a blur. We stepped out the front door of the hotel and 20ft to our right we could see flames 20ft high. Staff were running out and shouting, the chef ran out with a bucket of water, and another man ran around with a big hose.

“We went to our room, got our passports, wedding rings from the safe in the room, and the car keys, and ran back outside.

“It was chaos. We drove into the town centre and were able to spend the night in a hotel in Palermo.”

Despite the fire, they were able to stay for the last five days of their holiday and returned home last Sunday.

The couple had first met when they posed as a newly married couple for a photo shoot advertising Dunston Hall hotel, in September 2004.

They married at the Assembly House in Norwich on August 10 and held the reception at Dunston Hall hotel.

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