Cape Gazette
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Dewey Beach cottage razed

Accidental fire on April 16 caused $50,000 worth of damage
By Chris Flood | Jun 12, 2014
Courtesy of: Submitted photo Demolition crews work June 5 to tear down a cottage in Dewey Beach that was destroyed by fire April 16. The home was owned by former Commissioner Joy Howell.

Dewey Beach — The burned out beach cottage of former Dewey Beach Commissioner Joy Howell was demolished June 5.

An April 16 fire caused $50,000 in damage to the house Howell called the Salty Kiss Cottage, 17 Saulsbury St. It was one of several Mariners Surfside Cottages.

Howell has owned the small beach cottage since August 2008 with her partner Garland Williams, his mother Eleanor Williams and their fearless Shih-tzu Snickers.

The fire started about 2:20 p.m. Firefighters from the Rehoboth Beach, Indian River and Lewes fire departments responded, bringing the blaze under control shortly after 3:20 p.m.

Immediately following the fire, Harry Miller, chief deputy state fire marshal, investigated and said the single-family home fire was accidental and was caused by an unspecified electrical malfunction on the front porch.

Howell said there has been no further determination of the cause, but she could not begin demolition until various insurance issues were resolved.

“It should surprise no one that it took a while to resolve the outstanding issues in dealing with two different insurance companies, and frankly, they still aren’t resolved even now,” she said in an email June 5.

Howell said she is still evaluating her options on what to do next.

 

The home was one of the small beach cottages in the Mariners Surfside Cottages on Saulsbury Street. (Courtesy of: Submitted photo)
Fire crews from Rehoboth, Lewes and Indian River worked quickly to prevent the fire from spreading to other buildings close by. Here the demolition crew works near a neighbor's house to clear debris. (Courtesy of: Submitted photo)
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