OCEAN CITY — A Sykesville man was arrested after police say he lit a firework which exploded inside a second floor stairwell in an apartment building in Ocean City.
On June 10, the Ocean City Fire Department was called to the Homestead Apartments for a reported explosion and possible building fire.
When they arrived, multiple occupants of the two-story, apartment building were evacuating.
Fire officials determined that an aerial shell firework had been lit and exploded in an enclosed second floor stairwell, endangering the approximately 24 people occupying the two dwelling units served by the stairwell.
Fire damage was limited to a small area of the stairwell and occupants were able to later return to their units.
Officials say no injuries were reported.
Through a joint investigation by fire investigators and OCPD detectives, 21-year-old Jamie Carl Bouma, Jr., of Sykesville, was arrested and charged with possession/use of a destructive device, two counts of reckless endangerment, malicious destruction of property less than $1000, and discharging fireworks without a permit.
Bouma was seen by a Maryland District Court Commissioner and was released on a $25,000 bond.
Visitors and residents in Ocean City are reminded that, with very limited exceptions, all fireworks are illegal to possess and use in Ocean City. Penalties include fines of up to $1000 and possible jail time, depending on the incident.