Rev. David Dingwall
(CNN) — Members of an Ocean City, Maryland, church are mourning this week after a bizarre fire left two people dead, including the church\’s longtime pastor, and a woman critically injured.
The blaze started Tuesday when a man — his clothes and body aflame — entered St. Paul\’s by the Sea church in a section where services are provided to the area\’s needy.
\”Somebody tried to put him out and then the building caught fire from there,\” a witness told CNN affiliate WJLA.
The fire, possibly helped by the use of an accelerant, spread quickly, according to fire and police officials.
The man, identified by Ocean City Police as 56-year-old John Raymond Sterner, was found dead inside the building by firefighters. The church pastor, the Rev. David Dingwall, was found unconscious on the second floor of the church amid \”heavy smoke and heat conditions,\” authorities said. He later died at a hospital. A third victim, a woman, was critically injured, police said.