WATCH: Elderly couple on mini-honeymoon recount terrifying ordeal as flames erupted right above their room. Tess van Straaten reports.
Ninety-one-year-old Cedric Jones and his 79-year-old wife, Margaret, probably aren’t what comes to mind when you think of honeymooners.
“We’re kind of late bloomers,” Margaret Jones laughs.
When the Victoria couple married three and a half years ago, they decided to take mini honeymoons every year.
But last weekend’s honeymoon at the Quamichan Inn was marred by tragedy.
“We’d gone to bed and were fast asleep and it was 11:30 at night when the hammering on the door started,” Margaret says. “They said don’t wait to get anything, you’ve got to get out — the fire is above you!”
Just minutes after a staff member first spotted smoke on the roof, the Cowichan Valley landmark was fully engulfed in flames.
“It was quite scary because they yelled it was a roof fire and by the time I got as far as our door you could see the red, the redness of the flames coming through into our suite so there’s no time to do anything but just get out,” Cedric Jones says.
Senior forced to leave her elderly husband behind in fire
But Cedric, a partially retired Anglican minister, has mobility issues so staff told Margaret to leave without him.
“Of course, I wanted to stay until Cedric left but they said you must go ahead,” Margaret says.
The Inn staff was able to get everyone else out and after Margaret escaped, she anxiously waited for any sign of Cedric.
“I could see the stairwell going up and above I could see the flames along the roof but then I saw Cedric halfway down the stairs and thought, oh goodness, he’s going to be alright!” Margaret says.
Cedric was the last guest out and surviving the terrifying ordeal has bonded the loving couple even more.
“We got out together unscathed and I think it brought us closer together — it’s such a relief we were both alright,” says Cedric, holding his wife’s hand.
And they’re already looking forward to next year’s honeymoon.
“It keeps your marriage fresh and helps you realize love is the most important thing of all,” says Margaret.