2 Dead, Including Pastor, In Ocean City Church Fire

OCEAN CITY, Md. (WJZ) — An Ocean City pastor and another man were both killed in a fire at the church rectory. Church officials say the fire started when the man came running into the building with his clothes on fire.

Kai Jackson reports a third fire victim is recovering at Johns Hopkins Bayview.

The pastor who died leaves behind a loving family and a church community that benefited from his service.

Tragedy struck an Eastern Shore church in Ocean City on Thursday. Authorities say 51-year-old Reverend David Dingwall, the pastor of St. Paul’s By-The-Sea Episcopal Church, died from injuries he sustained in a fire.

“It’s quite scary and it’s very sad for this time of year to have your church go up and especially have people injured,” said church member Kevin Hall.

“We’re just stunned. There has been a tremendous outpouring of support,” said Canon Heather Cook.

Cook is with the Episcopal Diocese in Easton. She says according to a witness, it happened at the church’s food pantry called the Shepherd’s Crook.

“He saw a man who was on fire run into the building screaming for help,” Cook said.

Cook says the person on fire grabbed a church volunteer and that person caught fire. The person initially on fire also died. The fire apparently spread and Cook believes Reverend Dingwall rushed back inside the church to retrieve a computer.

“He ran back in to get his computer and I think that’s when he was probably caught in the smoke,” Cook said. “We would be very grateful [if people would] hold us up in prayer, particularly his family.”

Funeral arrangements for Dingwall are not yet complete.

***Ocean City fire video courtesy of Don Bowden.***

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