The suspect was already being held at a Maryland correctional facility for arson related charges.
Officials say that on June 17, 2021, Delaware Deputy Fire Marshals obtained warrants for Richard B. Lodeski for the charges of Arson Second Degree and Criminal Trespass for each incident.
Fire investigators say Lodeski was determined to be responsible for each of their arson investigations and was already being held in a State of Maryland correctional facility for Arson related crimes in Baltimore County and a burglary charge in Ocean City.
After admitting his guilt in Harford County Circuit Court on May 26, a judge sentenced him to 60 years, suspending all but 10 years, Maryland Office of the State Fire Marshal stated previously.
Investigators say the first incident they investigated occurred on April 23, 2020 shortly after 10:00 P. M. at the 100 block of Dickinson Avenue Dewey Beach, Delaware and involved The Lighthouse Restaurant property structure and boardwalk area under construction.
The Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company arrived on scene and found heavy flames coming from the structure. Mutual aid fire companies assisted at the scene.
State fire investigators were called to the scene and performed an investigation into the fire origin and cause. The cause of this fire was determined to be intentionally started / arson. Fire damage was estimated at $750,000.
The second incident investigated occurred on June 3, 2020 shortly after 12:30 A. M. at the 35000 block of Wolfe Neck Road Rehoboth Beach, Delaware and involved the Aqua – Leisure property structure.
The Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company arrived on scene and found smoke and flames coming from the structure. Mutual aid fire companies assisted at the scene.
State fire investigators were called to the scene and performed an investigation into the fire origin and cause. The cause of this fire was determined to be intentionally started / arson. Fire damaged was estimated at $200,000.
According to John Galasky, Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal, “An ongoing criminal investigation into these separate fires by Delaware State Fire Marshal Deputies involving assistance and coordination with the Maryland Office of the State Fire Marshal and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Delaware State Police, and Dewey Beach Police resulted in Richard B. Lodeski, 44, of Wilimington, Delaware being identified as a person responsible for those separate fires.”
Any persons with information on either of these fires are asked to call the Sussex Division of the Delaware State Fire Marshal’s Office at (302) 856-5600.