By Beth Germano, WBZ-TVBy Beth Germano

SWAMPSCOTT (CBS) — It was the final detail before Julie Jones’ Saturday wedding: to pick up her dress at the tailor shop.

She never made it, as fire ripped through a century-old building in Swampscott that houses not only Peter’s Tailoring, but other businesses and apartments.

“To feel like it’s three days before the wedding and you have to start over from scratch,” said Jones. “It did break my heart, but it’s just a dress at the end of the day,” she said.

Not so to shop owner Vera Spagnuolo, whose first thought was not her lost business, but of Julie’s dress.

WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reports.

“The people are what keeps us in business. We are very concerned for them,” she said.

At the fire scene two firefighters were alerted to the special dress inside and went in.

“We were able to see into the back of the store, made our sprint, and got out of there. It was our good deed,” said Swampscott fire investigator Bob Faulkner.

The dress, a soaking mess inside a garment bag was taken by Spagnuolo to a clothing restoration business. Jones never thought she would see the dress in time to walk down the aisle and made an emergency purchase to replace it, amazed at the care and concern of the shop owners.

“They seemed more concerned about me and my dress and that I was alright than the fact they lost a business,” said Jones.

The stretch of shops reduced to rubble left Peter’s Tailoring without even a needle and thread.

Julie Jones knows her story will have a happy ending, but it’s not easy to walk away.

“I think about all the people who lost their belongings in the fire, it must be devastating,” she said.

Fire investigators believe the blaze started in the basement of a store, but are still not certain of the cause.

Comments (11)
  1. timothy.mcniven says:

    Seriously? How many people remain married these days? Weddings are a dime a dozen, and so are divorces. This woman will be divorced in 2 years… and I wasted my time reading this garbage.

    1. Swampscott Fire Fighter says:

      Hey ahole…this is not a story about marrige, this is a story about people helping people….from the firefighters to the dress shop owner….you wasted your time pasting your stupid comment…get a life you depressed miserable little cretant….

  2. disgusted says:

    I lost my home to fire 6 years ago and this story disgusts me! There are more important things then a wedding dress. I’ll never be able to wear mine again or hand it down to my nieces. But what is important to me is every living being in the house that morning got out! My own worries that day, LIVES. If you go through a fire you put things into perspective and I can not get excited for this woman’s wedding dress. Tell me about the people who now have to start over and might not have the means to do so. This just shows me how shallow people are risking the life of firefighters for a dress. Really? We live in a sad society when we put so much value on clothing, wedding dress or not.

    1. Bride says:

      Just so everyone knows. I Maintained, from the moment I learned of the fire, that it was just a dress and how my heart went out to all those who lost their businesses and homes. I live in the neighborhood and know the business owners as well as one of those tenants who lost EVERYTHING!!! I did not ask anyone to “risk their lives” to save my dress. I cannot help how the news spins the story.

      1. P.J. says:


        You need to get over yourself. This was just one of those stories with a small happy ending to it. Even in the story Julie expresses her concern for the businesses that were lost. She wasn’t on site during the fire, and didn’t request that the firemen run in and save her dress. It was probably just something the firemen were happy to do, since the rest of the building, and everything in it was a complete loss.

  3. KMH says:

    I am happy for you, you have your dress, which I am sure you love very much, and everyone is still safe. I know that firefighters have extensive training and would not have gone back for the dress if they did not feel that they could do so safely. It is always nice to hear stories about compassionate people who still have the ability to look out for others. I am so sorry for those who lost everything, I wouldn’t ever wish that on anyone, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to enjoy your good fortune. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding & good luck to everyone else putting their lives back together following this fire, a sentiment I know you sincerely share.

  4. RS says:

    Kudos to Vera Spagnuolo!! In the midst of dealing with a crisis, she is more concearned with continuing to service her customer before herself. Now that is customer service!! Let’s help her get back on her feet and stand by her in support of reopening!! The world could sure use more like her!!

  5. Nicole says:

    Vera is AMAZING!! My dress was the other dress saved and I am SO grateful to everyone – the store owners, the firefighters…. This is the greatest story of someone caring about another person.
    I will still have Vera tailor my dress from her home and I will recommend her services for years to come, I’m sure!!

  6. kjmyvinux says:

    so,it is a good article

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