Ocean City rector dies in church blaze, arson suspected

OCEAN CITY, Md., 11/26/13– A Tuesday morning fire at St. Paul’s by-the-Sea, Ocean City has sent two people to the hospital with a third victim still inside the structure.

We are told that the fire occurred in the rear office area of St. Paul’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church at 3rd Street and Baltimore Avenue when a person on fire entered the Shepherd’s Crook ministry offices.

According to Ocean City police, three victims were inside the office at the time of the blaze. Two were taken out of the building and transported to Atlantic General Hospital in Berlin, where they are listed in critical condition. The rector, the Rev. David A. Dingwall, is in critical condition.

The third victim was trapped inside and firefighters are still trying to reach the victim.

The fire is under control.

Bishop Shand received the news at 10:00 this morning, and immediately drove to Atlantic General Hospital. He has spoken with the wardens and other clergy in the area.

We will post updated information as we learn more. Please hold David, his family, and the parish in your prayers.

Update from Bishop Shand at 2:15 pm:
The Rev. David Dingwall has been moved to the intensive care unit, and his condition is now listed as stable.

For news coverage, please visit WBOC16 at or WMDT47 at

Update 7:45 pm:

The Rev. David Dingwall has died as a result of his injuries Tuesday afternoon,  reports the Rev. Canon Heather Cook of the Episcopal Diocese in Easton.

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