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Pastor Dies Following Fire Pit Explosion

Kevin Corey death
Screengrab via NBC Washington

Northern Virginia pastor Kevin Corey has passed away following an explosion at his home on Jan. 30. Corey had been burning old documents in a fire pit in the yard of his townhome in the Newington area of Fairfax County when a gas can exploded in his hands.

Corey was airlifted to the hospital, where he had been in intensive care. He suffered third degree burns on about 65% of his body.

Since the accident, Corey’s daughter, Jenna Guercia, has been providing updates on Corey’s condition via Facebook. She revealed last week that the pastor had died on Wednesday, Feb. 7. 

“We are so happy that he is no longer in pain and his body is healed, but we are so heartbroken. There will never be enough words to tell of the impact he had on my life and the lives of so many,” Guercia wrote. “We see every message and feel your love. Thank you all for covering us in prayer through this time. Only Lord knows what is next, but by His grace we will keep going.”

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Corey had been serving as the youth pastor at Calvary Road Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia, but was preparing to transition into a senior pastor role at another church. He and his wife were in the process of packing up their home to move roughly 200 miles away to Glasgow, Virginia, to be closer to Guercia.

On the night of the accident, neighbors reported hearing an explosion coming from Corey’s home. One neighbor’s Ring camera captured the incident. 

“You see him add an accelerant, which happened to be a gas can. Then you hear this big explosion, and the gas can was too close to the fire and it exploded in his hands,” the neighbor recounted. “Unfortunately, the gas can, it sprayed all over him. And you then see him drop down to the ground and the fire just followed him and he was on fire.”

Corey’s wife rushed to put out the flames using a rug.

“The last thing that you hear on my Ring camera is, ‘I’m alive, I’m alive,’” the neighbor said.

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Following the accident, Guercia said that Corey underwent an initial procedure to treat his severe burns. The surgery went as well as doctors had hoped, and Corey was in and out of sedation. Guercia reported that Corey was responsive to her and her mother’s voices and that he could squeeze their hands and wiggle his toes.