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RANCHO PENASQUITOS, Calif. (Fox 5 News) -- A wedding ceremony came crashing to a halt as the hot air balloon hosting the happy occasion plummeted into a southern California backyard -- and the couple's first day as man and wife together almost became their last.
A homeowner said he was inside his house watching TV, when all of a sudden, it got dark. When he looked out the window, there was something covering half his house.
A hot air balloon basket carrying 13 people crashed into his chain link fence bordering his house just west of Interstate 15 in Rancho Penasquitos, Calif.
Mark Carlile was on the other side of the fence with his buddy.
"We look up and we see this huge balloon coming up over the horizon," Carlile said.
And that's rare in the area because huge power lines stretch across the hillside. Carlile knew immediately that something wasn't right.
"It just hit the ground, hit my hill and then hit my neighbor's fence and crashed," he said.
That neighbor was Don Myers, who said he was spooked.
"It got dark in the house," Myers said. "The balloon...had just basically almost engulfed half of the house."
He called his wife, Ellen, who rushed home.
"It was like, 'Oh my God, what happened?'" she said. "There's police cars, there's fire trucks..."@
People were screaming as a dozen strangers poured out of the sky into Carlile's back yard.
"As this was happening, I was running up the hill to go see if I could help because I was expecting to find a lot worse that what I found," Carlile said.
And what he found was 13 people from a wedding party, including the bride and groom, who just said "I do" up in the air.
All seemed to be OK.
The hot air balloon company quickly arrived and immediately took their downed passengers away before emergency crews could get there.
Only one woman was complaining of a sore back.
Carlile spoke with the extra-happily-married couple before they left and learned they are both ministers.
Carlile said, "They were pretty freaked out. There was a lot of screaming. And a lot of people yelling 'Jesus.'"