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.