Survivor of Bizarre Ocean City Church Fire Speaks Out - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Survivor of Bizarre Ocean City Church Fire Speaks Out


OCEAN CITY, Md.- We sat down with 42 year-old Dana Truitt, of Ocean City, in Baltimore at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Burn Center. Her arm has third-degree burns and nurses had to shave her head bald to treat severe burns. Truitt said she will never forget November 26th.

"You really couldn't see nothing but fire in his eyes," said Truitt. "All you can see were flames. Fire on him. That's all you can see."

Sterner was seen in surveillance footage filling a red gas can with gasoline at a nearby gas station. He then walked casually toward Saint Paul's by the Sea Episcopal Church, on 3rd Street and Baltimore, where he lit himself on fire and ran inside Shepherd's Crook.

"He busted through the door on fire and just stood there, and said 'I am going to die and take some people with me'," said Truitt.

She said she had only one thing on her mind, "death." Truitt said "I just knew I was gone. I was fighting to get out of there."

Dana told WBOC, she pushed Sterner down and ran for the door of this burning building, not knowing if she would make it.

"It was hard because he was standing there and wouldn't let me out and was holding onto me," said Truitt.

She made it out with burns to more than 20 percent of her body.

"God helped me get out of there and stay alive. I am still fighting today and I have a long way to fight."

The pastor of her church didn't make. Father David Dingwall died from injuries sustained in the fire.

"Anytime to happen like that is unfair. I don't care if it's a church, an abandon building it is just unfair. That somebody has to be that cruel to do something like that."

When asked if she forgives sterner, Dana took a big breathe and said, "I can't right now. I don't I will be able to right now. Because just knowing he almost took my life with him, I don't think I could be ever to, ever, ever to forgive him."

Doctors at Johns Hopkins said it could take up to two years for Dana to fully recover, until then Dana is taking it one step at a time.

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