A hero firefighter left his own wedding to go and fight a blaze and returned three hours later, just in time for his first dance.
Dad-of-two Jeremy Bourasa, 39, had just tied the knot to bride Krista Boland, 32, when the call came in that a house was burning down.
The volunteer fireman, who was posing for official photos with his new wife at the time, dropped everything and changed into his uniform.
He then ran outside of the venue, which was, conveniently, the fire station where he is based, and jumped into the same fire truck his new wife had arrived in a few hours earlier.
Bourasa battled the fire alongside other rescuers from St. Paul Park Volunteer Fire Department in Minnesota, and fortunately no lives were lost.
The newlywed returned to his wedding three hours later and was on “cloud nine” as their 120 guests greeted him with a standing ovation.
The couple, of Cottage Grove, then enjoyed their first dance to "Stay With You" by John Legend, as sung by Bourasa's brother-in-law, Ira Weatherspoon, 32.
Boland, a school nurse, said: “The fire was really bad, and I could hear the crew saying that they needed more guys.
“I looked over at Jeremy, and I could tell what he was thinking. He looked so torn. I said ‘just go.’
“It’s about knowing when to put someone else before yourself. I would hope that anyone would do the same in my position.
“Someone’s home was in flames, so in that moment, they needed him more than I did.
“I felt so proud.”
Bourasa added: “At first, getting on the truck, I was thinking about leaving my new wife on our wedding day.
“But on the way there I realized that I was going into a burning house so I wanted to be focused on that.
“Your gut instinct kicks into gear and you do what you gotta do.”
After the station’s bell rang at 4.30 p.m, Bourasa and a team of other rescuers from St. Paul Volunteer Fire Department rushed to the scene of the fire.
They managed to get the blaze under control and fortunately no lives were lost, but the home was tragically destroyed.
“Once it was all over and I was sitting there with my jacket off and a wet towel on my head drinking water, I was like, ‘dang, I just got married!’" Bourasa said.
“I got quite a few high fives from the other guys. It shows respect.
“It proves that you're not just there because you want to be a cool fire man - this dude just left his own wedding to come help us.
“When I walked into the reception everyone just stopped what they were doing and stood up and started clapping. It was almost a standing ovation.
“I was on cloud nine.”
Boland added: “I cried when I saw him. I was so proud of him.
“He would give you the shirt off his back, his last dollar. He has the kindest heart.
“Our boys were so proud of him too. They both want to be a firefighter like their dad when they grow up.”
Boland and Bourasa were introduced by Bourasa's sister-in-law 11 years ago and got engaged in July 2013.
The pair, who have two sons, Kaden, eight, and Knox, two, originally planned to wed straight away but delayed it until after Boland had finished nursing school.
That same year, Bourasa fulfilled his lifelong dream to become a volunteer firefighter. Seeing him in action gave his fiancée inspiration for a wedding venue.
Boland said: “He clearly loved being a firefighter. It’s really important to him.
“We were trying to figure out where to have the wedding, and then I said ‘why don’t you see if we could have it at the fire station?’”
Bourasa added: “I was kind of skeptical about having it there at first because it seemed kind of cheesy.
“Now that I look back on it, I wouldn’t want it any other way. It was a super cool experience.
“I'm not a really emotional guy, but when I saw her come down the aisle, I cried.”
The newlyweds added that the fact Bourasa was able to help out with the emergency made their wedding a day they’ll remember forever.
“It's a day that I’ll remember the rest of my life. I can’t wait to tell my grandkids down the line," Bourasa said.
“Just to be able to give a helping hand is so rewarding.”
Boland added: “It was the perfect day for us. It ended up being so beautiful, I wouldn’t change a thing.”