Man in jail for Md. arson cases charged with torching popular Del. beach restaurant last year

The rebuilt Lighthouse Restaurant in Dewey Beach was set to open this summer. Firefighters battled the blaze for hours. (Courtesy Rehoboth Beach Fire)
The rebuilt Lighthouse Restaurant in Dewey Beach was set to open in the summer of 2020 before it was gutted by flames. in April 2020. (Courtesy Rehoboth Beach Fire)
A man already serving time for arson in Maryland has been connected to a fire in Delaware that destroyed a popular restaurant last year.

The fire in April 2020 destroyed the Lighthouse Restaurant in Dewey Beach.

Now, 44-year-old Richard Lodeski of Wilmington, Delaware, has been charged with second-degree arson and criminal trespass in the restaurant fire, said the Delaware Office of the State Fire Marshal, which was working with the Maryland’s office on the case.

Lodeski is also charged in a second blaze, set at Aqua Leisure Plus, in Rehoboth Beach, in June 2020.

He is currently serving 10 years in jail for setting fires at a gas station and two other buildings in Bel Air, Maryland, in June 2020. Lodeski pleaded guilty on May 26. The full sentence was 60 years, but the judge had suspended 50 years of that sentence.

The Dewey Beach restaurant and replica lighthouse was being remodeled at the time of the fire and was supposed to open in summer of 2020. Now, the restaurant said it will open its doors in mid-July.

The damage to the building was estimated at $750,000.

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Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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