Lighthouse Developers Announce Donation Following Arson Arrest


Rising out of the ashes, developers of The Lighthouse in Dewey Beach have announced reopening plans and have made a charitable donation following the arrest of a suspect in the April 2020 blaze that wrecked the property as it was being redeveloped.

The Lighthouse was on the verge of opening at the time of the fire, and about 40 people who were lined up for employment were affected. A second reconstruction has been underway.

Thursday, Harvey Hanna and Associates President Thomas Hanna says the company and Lighthouse Cove will donate $15,000 to Camp Barnes in Frankford, specifically to the annual Delaware Burn Camp, in lieu of the previously announced reward. Also, The Lighthouse Restaurant is expected to reopen in mid-July.

“We are relieved that this person has been brought to justice for this senseless act. We would like to thank the Delaware Fire Marshal’s and Attorney General’s offices for continuing to pursue every lead during a 14-month long investigation. We would also like to thank The Delaware State Police, Dewey Beach Police Department, the Delaware Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms, and the State of Maryland for their on-going support during the investigation. The community support during this painful time has been overwhelming,” Hanna said. “Deputy Dale Magee of the State Fire Marshal’s Office and the private team at O’Rourke Investigative both deserve a lot of credit for immediately hitting the street within hours of the arson having occurred,” Hanna went on to state.  

“This act of arson at the Lighthouse Restaurant wasn’t just a betrayal of Harvey Hanna & Associates, Inc. and the employees of our Lighthouse Cove Resort. This act of arson was a despicable betrayal of the entire Dewey Beach and greater Sussex County communities. Today, our community is safer because of this arrest,” Lighthouse Cove Development Company President E. Thomas Harvey, III said.

“As many are aware, we immediately posted what we felt was a generous reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the arsonist in this act. Representatives from Law Enforcement were able to investigate and arrest the alleged perpetrator without the necessity of the Reward. Therefore, our team felt compelled to contribute much of the allocated reward money to Camp Barnes, a powerful community effort established by the Delaware State Police many decades ago, which serves underprivileged children in Delaware and those kids that have been disabled or harmed by fire,” Hanna said. 

Earlier Thursday, 44-year-old Richard Lodeski of Wilmington was charged with second-degree Arson and criminal trespass for The Lighthouse blaze in Dewey Beach in April 2020, as well as a fire last June at Aqua Leisure on Wolfe Neck Road.