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Reward offered for info on Lighthouse arsonist

Staff Writer
Sussex Countian
Sussex Countian
Sussex Countian

The fire that destroyed the Lighthouse restaurant in Dewey Beach was intentionally set, according to the state fire marshal. The owners are offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the culprits.

“The entire Lighthouse Cove family has been devastated by this senseless fire that destroyed the Lighthouse restaurant – one of the final components of the wider Lighthouse Cove redevelopment project,” said E. Thomas Harvey III, president of Lighthouse Cove Development Company. “The damage caused by this act also extends well beyond our property and into our community, as area residents will be impacted by the loss of vital jobs the restaurant would have provided.”

Firefighters began battling the blaze, at Dickinson Street and the bay, around 10 p.m. the evening of April 23.

According to the Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company, crews arrived to find a two-story structure well involved in fire and with a partial collapse of the building. Firefighters were on scene for over three hours. No injuries were reported.

The Lighthouse restaurant was a part of Lighthouse Cove, which includes a Hyatt Place hotel, the Residences at Lighthouse Cove condominium complex and the Lighthouse Cove Event Center. None of the other Lighthouse Cove buildings were damaged in the fire.

Fire damage is estimated at $750,000. The Lighthouse restaurant was being remodeled at the time of the fire and was expected to reopen this summer. No timeline has been set for rebuilding.

“We are extremely thankful for the local fire departments that helped contain and extinguish the fire, and for the investigators with the Delaware Fire Marshal’s office who have been working day and night to identify responsible parties,” said Thomas J. Hanna, President of Harvey, Hanna & Associates, the company that is overseeing the redevelopment. “It is our hope that this reward will help encourage those with additional information regarding the fire to come forward, so that the responsible parties can be brought to justice.”

The $10,000 reward is being offered to anyone who can provide information leading to an arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the fire. Anyone with information is asked to call the State Fire Marshal’s Sussex division at 302-856-5600 or Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333.