Virginia pastor dies after fire-pit explosion burned 60% of body

A photo of Pastor Kevin Corey's (L) family shared by the pastor's daughter, Jenna Guercia.
A photo of Pastor Kevin Corey's (L) family shared by the pastor's daughter, Jenna Guercia. | Jenna Guercia/Facebook

A Northern Virginia pastor has died after spending eight days in the hospital with severe burns on over 60% of his body after a gas can exploded in his hands during a document-burning incident outside his home. 

The explosion occurred on Jan. 30 in the backyard of Pastor Kevin Corey's townhome in Fairfax County, causing severe burn injuries.

Corey, 57, was burning documents in a fire pit at his residence in the Newington area when the accident happened at roughly 8:30 p.m. Corey previously served as the youth pastor at Calvary Road Baptist Church in Alexandria, but was transitioning to a senior pastor role at another church.

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Following the incident, Corey's daughter, Jenna Guercia, provided updates on the pastor's condition through Facebook posts.

The daughter shared about her father's death last Wednesday.

"We are so happy that he is no longer in pain and his body is healed, but we are so heartbroken," she wrote. "There will never be enough words to tell of the impact he had on my life and the lives of so many."

"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."

The late pastor and his wife had been packing in their home with plans to move about 200 miles away to Glasgow, Virginia, to be closer to Guercia, according to

Neighbors who heard the fiery incident reported hearing an explosion coming from Corey's home. One neighbor's Ring camera recorded the incident live as it occurred, providing footage after the accident.  

"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 reportedly shared. 

"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."

The pastor's wife rushed to his side, attempting to put out the flames with a rug. 

"The last thing that you hear on my Ring camera is, 'I'm alive, I'm alive,'" the neighbor said. 

After the incident, Guercia reported on Facebook that Corey had to have an initial procedure to treat his burns. Following the procedure, Corey was reportedly in and out of sedation. 

Although Guercia detailed that Corey was responsive to her and her mother's voices and that he was able to squeeze hands and wiggle his toes, the pastor's condition worsened over the next couple of days. 

He was later put on dialysis and antibiotics to combat kidney and lung failure. He died fighting for his life a few days later.  

A Meal Train was organized to support the family, with an additional $11,443 donated for Corey's medical expenses and funeral services.  

The family requests that donations be made to the apologetics ministry Answers in Genesis in Corey's honor in lieu of flowers.  

A funeral service for Corey will take place at Calvary Road Baptist Church on Friday at Calvary Road Baptist Church.

Nicole Alcindor is a reporter for The Christian Post. 

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