No Time Ordered In Resort Home Explosion

OCEAN CITY – An Ocean City woman, charged in January with attempted suicide and reckless endangerment after allegedly causing the blast that destroyed her Montego Bay-area mobile home and severely damaging others, was sentenced to 18 months in jail, all of which was then suspended in favor of probation and a heavy fine.

Carol Lynn Blackshear, 53, of Ocean City, was arrested after Ocean City Fire Marshal’s Office officials determined she turned on the gas on a propane oven, blew out the burners to allow the gas to seep throughout the Gorman Ave. residence, took a couple of shots of vodka and went to bed. The gas was eventually lit by an igniter for the stove, touching off a huge explosion that engulfed the mobile home and set fire to neighboring residences in the area.

Blackshear’s roommate arrived home and was able to get her out of the residence just before the explosion. Blackshear later admitted the failed suicide attempt. This week in District Court, she pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment and was sentenced to 18 months in jail, all of which was suspended. She was then placed on probation for three years and fined $1,000. It remains uncertain if Blackshear will be forced to pay restitution to the owners of the other homes damaged in the blast.

Shortly before 3 a.m. on Dec. 4, Ocean City Communications received a call for a reported structure fire in the area of 136th Street and Coastal Highway. Ocean City Fire and Police units arrived on the scene a short time later and discovered a mobile home on Gorman Ave. completely engulfed in flames and had spread to two adjacent mobile homes in Sundowner Park.

The primary unit at 113 Gorman Ave. was completely destroyed, while serious damage occurred at two neighboring residences. It was later learned a second mobile home damaged in the fire is a total loss, according to the property manager.

Blackshear was transported by Maryland State Police helicopter to the Johns Hopkins Bayview Burn Center in Baltimore with serious injuries. A deputy fire marshal met with a man, identified as Blackshear’s roommate, who said he arrived at the residence and was immediately hit with a “wall of propane,” according to court documents.

The roommate told investigators he located Blackshear inside the residence and that she was nearly passed out, according to court documents. The roommate told investigators he woke up Blackshear and told her to exit the mobile home. The roommate said he walked to the rear of the residence and heard a clicking noise just before the explosion occurred, according to court documents.