Woman marries her firefighter hero

A WOMAN rescued from a fire in Clevedon has married the firefighter who came to her aid.

Julia Sbardella and Rod Rodwell met after a chip-pan in Julia’s kitchen set alight and a crew from Clevedon’s firestation was called to the scene.

Julia suffered third degree burns after throwing the pan into her garden and retained firefighter Rod was tasked with administering first aid before an ambulance arrived.

Now, 13 years after the fire, the couple have tied the knot.

Rod said: “Something just clicked that day, even though we had seen each other at our worst.


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“I decided to pop round to see how Julia was and to ask whether she needed a hand redecorating the kitchen, which had been left with black walls from the fire.”

After enjoying a cup of tea and a chat, Rod and Julia went their separate ways. However, after a number of chance meetings, Rod plucked up the courage to ask Julia on a date.

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Since then they moved into a house in Wraxall, where they have brought their children up together.

On July 13, Julia, aged 45, and Rod, aged 46, were married in front of 40 guests at Rookery Manor in Edingworth.

After the formal reception, which included the unveiling of a wedding cake in the shape of flames around a model fire engine, an evening reception was held for 100 guests.

Julia was given away by her 20-year-old son Alexander and was attended by her 14-year-old daughter Annabel, Rod’s 16-year-old daughter Sharni, and a friend’s 14-year-old daughter Jessica Avery. Julia’s niece’s Lydia and Kate Scanland, were flower girls.

Rod’s 19-year-old son Conor was best man and his younger sons, 17-year-old George and 14-year-old Toby, were ushers.

The day was rounded off with a firework display by Firestorm Fireworks, where Rod now works when he is not driving high speed trains.

After the wedding, Rod surprised Julia with a honeymoon to Hawaii where he has booked a helicopter flight around the islands, a trip to the rainforest on horseback, swimming with dolphins and a spa day.

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