A man mysteriously on fire ran into a church’s food bank in Maryland, setting it on fire and killing the church’s pastor in the blaze.
Investigators don’t know why 56-year-old John Sterner was on fire when he entered the Ocean City food bank on Tuesday. Authorities say both his clothes and body seemed to be covered in a flammable substance.
When he ran inside St. Paul’s by the Sea church, the draperies were lit and the fire spread quickly.
"Somebody tried to put him out and then the building caught fire from there," one witness told CNN-affiliate WJLA.
Both Sterner and the longtime pastor, Rev. David Dingwall, were killed in the blaze. A woman was critically injured.
Dingwall was reportedly leaving when he learned the church was on fire. He ran inside to collect his computer, but was overwhelmed by the heat and smoke.
The reverend was found on the second floor of the building by firefighters and transported to a hospital where he later died.
"I'm heartbroken. I'm sick," church organist Shirley Hailey told WJLA. "It's just horrible. Absolutely horrible."
Sterner, who has a lengthy criminal history, may have been homeless.