Monthly Archives: November 2013

Investigation into Church Fire Continues

On Tuesday, November 26, 2013, at approximately 9:25 a.m., Ocean City Communications received a call for a fire at St. Paul’s by the Sea.  Ocean City Fire Department personnel responded to the scene, which is located at 302 North Baltimore Avenue, and found fire coming from the rectory building upon their arrival.

The initial investigation determined that the fire originated in the area of the ground floor pantry and porch space of the Shepherd’s Crook facility, which is located in the rectory building.  The exact cause of the fire is still actively under investigation, however; preliminary findings by investigators indicate that John Raymond Sterner, 56, of Ocean City, entered the structure with a significant amount of fire on and about his person, quickly spreading the fire to the structure.

Investigators suspect an accelerant was involved in the quick spread of the fire, which claimed the life of Sterner. Sterner was deceased inside of the building upon arrival of the Fire Department.

A female victim, whose name is not being released, sustained injuries attempting to exit the Shepherd’s Crook facility of the structure.  She was treated on the scene by paramedics and ultimately transported to John’s Hopkins Bayview Medical Center where she is still being treated.

The fire also claimed the life of St. Paul’s by the Sea’s Reverend, David Dingwall.  Fire Department personnel located Rev. Dingwall during a primary search of the second floor of the building, where they experienced heavy smoke and heat conditions.  Reverend Dingwall, who was unconscious at the time, was quickly removed from the building, treated on the scene by paramedics and transported to Atlantic General Hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries.

The remains of Rev. Dingwall and Sterner have been taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of Maryland in Baltimore for autopsy to determine the manner and cause of death.

“Today was a very tragic day for our community,” said Ocean City Fire Chief Chris Larmore.  “We are thankful for the numerous agencies that assisted us during our response and especially thankful for all of the public safety personnel who helped prevent this fire from claiming more lives.”

Initial damage assessments indicate significant fire damage of the first and second floor office, in addition to smoke and overhaul damage throughout the first floor of the rectory building.  The worship center and Red Doors Community Center, which are located within St. Paul’s by the Sea, experienced minimal to no significant damage.

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation by the Ocean City Fire Department’s Fire Marshal’s Office and the Ocean City Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division.  The Maryland State Fire Marshal and Worcester County Fire Marshal are also assisting in the investigation. Anyone with information regarding the fire, including photograph or video taken before the arrival of the Fire Department, is asked to contact the Ocean City Police Department at 410.723.6610.

 

Church Fire Claims One Life

On Tuesday, November 26, 2013, at approximately 9:25 a.m., Ocean City Communications received a call for a fire at St. Paul’s by the Sea.  Ocean City Fire Department personnel responded to the scene, which is located at 302 North Baltimore Avenue, and found fire coming from the rectory building upon their arrival.

The fire, which escalated to a third alarm, was under control shortly after the arrival of the fire department.  Initial damage assessments indicate significant fire damage of the first and second floor office, in addition to smoke and overhaul damage throughout the first floor of the rectory building.  The worship center and Red Doors Community Center, which are located within St. Paul’s by the Sea, experienced minimal to no significant damage.

Three people were injured as a result of the fire, which claimed the life of one adult male.  The second victim, an adult female, was transported to Peninsula Regional Medical Center and later sent to John’s Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.  The third victim, an adult male, was transported to Atlantic General Hospital in critical condition.  The names of the victims are not being released at this time.

“Today was a very tragic day for our community,” said Ocean City Fire Chief Chris Larmore.  “We are thankful for the numerous agencies that assisted us during our response and especially thankful for all of the public safety personnel who helped prevent this fire from claiming more lives.”

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation by the Ocean City Fire Department’s Fire Marshal’s Office and the Ocean City Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division.  The Maryland State Fire Marshal and Worcester County Fire Marshal are also assisting in the investigation. Anyone with information regarding the fire, including photograph or video taken before the arrival of the Fire Department, is asked to contact the Ocean City Police Department at 410.723.6610.

 

###

Ocean City Fire Department Responds to Fire in Church Rectory

On Tuesday, November 26, 2013, at approximately 9:25 a.m., Ocean City Communications received a call for a fire at St. Paul’s by the Sea.   Ocean City Fire Department personnel responded to the scene, which is located at 302 North Baltimore Avenue, and found fire coming from the rectory building upon their arrival.

The fire, which escalated to a third alarm, was under control shortly after the arrival of the fire department. Two victims were treated on scene for life-threatening injuries, one of which was transported to Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center.  A third victim sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased.

The names of the victims are not being released at this time.  The Fire Marshal’s Office and the Ocean City Police Department’s Criminal Investigation Division are currently investigating the cause of the fire, which is unknown at this time.  Anyone with information regarding the fire is asked to contact the Ocean City Police Department at 410.723.6610.

###

Ocean City Christmas Parade marches Saturday, Dec. 7

xmasparade(November 25, 2013) – The 31st Annual Ocean City Christmas Parade marches along Coastal Highway on Saturday, December 7 at 11 a.m.  The holiday parade, which starts at 100th Street and marches northbound in the southbound lanes of Coastal Highway to the Gold Coast Mall at 115th Street, will feature more than 80 units, including high school bands, horses, llamas, antique cars and colorful holiday floats.

Professional judges will be on hand to review bands and other marching units in nine categories and trophies will be awarded inside the mall following the parade for first, second and third places in each category. To participate in the parade, which is sponsored by the Gold Coast Mall Merchants Association, citizens should call Elaine Jarvis at 410-524-9000.  There is no charge to participate.

For those simply wishing to spectate, plenty of seating will be located in the parking lot of the Gold Coast Mall. Spectators will not be permitted to watch the parade from the median area of Coastal Highway. The parade is expected to last approximately two hours. Motorists traveling in the area are reminded that traffic pattern changes will occur starting at approximately 9 a.m.  Also, due to the high volume of traffic, pedestrians are reminded to Walk Smart by using cross walks and crossing with the traffic control signal.

 

###

Town of Ocean City Announces Holiday Closing

(November 25, 2013) – The Town of Ocean City is reminding citizens that administrative offices will be closed on Thursday, November 28 and Friday, November 29, in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. There will be no trash collection on Thursday, November 28, however; the normal solid waste winter schedule will resume on Friday, November 29.

The Town of Ocean City wishes all residents, visitors and businesses a safe, happy and healthy holiday.  For more information on the Town of Ocean City’s holiday closings and hours of operation, please visit: http://oceancitymd.gov/Holiday_Closings.html.