Convicted Arsonist Charged With Setting Lighthouse Blaze In Dewey


A suspect has been arrested in connection with two serious fires in Sussex County last year, including the April 2020 fire at The Lighthouse in Dewey Beach. The suspect, now serving prison time in Maryland for several arsons there, is also charged with setting a blaze at Aqua Leisure on Wolfe Neck Road in June of last year.

According to the Delaware State Fire Marshal’s Office, 44-year-old Richard Lodeski of Wilmington was charged Thursday with Arson second degree and criminal trespass.

April 23rd, 2020 shortly after 10 p.m., a fire roared through The Lighthouse property on Dickinson Avenue in Dewey Beach where there had been construction. The fire was determined to have been deliberately set, and damage was estimated at $750,000.

June 3rd, 2020 after 12:30 a.m., a fire broke out at the Aqua-Leisure property on Wolfe Neck Road, which also was determined to have been started deliberately. Damage was estimated at $200,000.

The Delaware State Fire Marshal’s Office said deputies worked with assistance and coordination from the Maryland Office of the State Fire Marshal, the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives, the Maryland Office of the State Fire Marshal and Dewey Beach Police. Investigators were led to Lodeski as the suspect in both fires.

Last month, Lodeski received a ten-year sentence for several arsons northeastern Maryland. His criminal record also included a burglary in Ocean City.

For previous coverage of the fire at The Lighthouse, please CLICK HERE