updated 4/10/2008 6:04:06 PM ET 2008-04-10T22:04:06

Lawrence Waterhouse III pulled out all the stops — and all the candles — when he proposed marriage to his girlfriend in the gazebo outside his suburban home.

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"He had set it up very, very nicely," Chappaqua Fire Chief Andy Metz said Thursday. "He had candles in the trees, candles and dogwood petals along the path, a chandelier with votive candles."

The girlfriend said yes to the romantic Wednesday night proposal, and the couple left town early Thursday for a trip West, Metz said.

Unfortunately, at least one candle remained lighted.

"We got the call about 7:15 this morning, and when I got there five minutes later the gazebo was fully involved in flames," the chief said. "Luckily, nothing else burned."

Metz tracked down Waterhouse at a New York airport and told him about the fire, but advised him to continue with his trip.

"Nobody was hurt, so I told him to go ahead with his vacation," the chief said. "He gave me his brother's number, and the brother told me about the proposal."

The chief said the fire was "a unique event."

"We've had candle fires, of course, but I can't remember one at this level of romance."

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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