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Three-Alarm Church Fire Claims Two, Including Church Leader

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A three-alarm fire in a historic church in downtown Ocean City has claimed the life of two people, including the church's rector.

Investigators won't say for now whether the fire was accidental or criminal, but they're all in agreement that what happened yesterday in Ocean City was unspeakably tragic.

Multiple sources and witnesses say a man on fire walked into the rectory of St. Paul's by the Sea Episcopal Church just after 9 a.m. and the wooden landmark in this small coastal community went up in flames almost immediately.

Police officials say the man responsible for setting the fire died in the blaze, but the fire also claimed the life of Rev. David Dingwall, a beloved member of this community and the leader of a parish that was known for helping the homeless, especially during the holiday season.

The fire was put out rather quickly, salvaging much of the church that has been here since 1878, but as the community mourns the loss of a friend and leader, many are just left wondering how something like this could happen here& at a little church by the sea.

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