Cape Gazette


Fire erupts at Dewey Beach home

Fire ruled accidental, causes $50,000 worth of damage
By Chris Flood | Apr 16, 2014
Photo by: Chris Flood A fire on Saulsbury Street in Dewey Beach on April 16 caused $50,000 worth of damage to the home of former town council member Joy Howell. The state fire marshal ruled the cause of the fire as accidental. Here a member of the Lewes Fire Department soaks the interior of the still smoking cottage.

Dewey Beach — A fire on April 16 caused $50,000 worth of damage to the Dewey Beach home of former town council member Joy Howell.

Howell has owned the small beach cottage since August 2008.

"We are so grateful no one was hurt and very touched by the outpouring of kindness from so many people," she said in an email. "We hope to rebuild as soon as possible."

The fire started at about 2:20 p.m. at 17 Saulsbury St. Firefighters from the Rehoboth Beach, Indian River and Lewes fire departments responded to the fire, which was brought under control shortly after 3:20 p.m.

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

"For now, I would just like to express my gratitude to the Rehoboth, Lewes and Indian River volunteer fire departments and to the Dewey police," said Howell. "And to the Sussex County water department guys who helped get my partner's 82-year-old mother to safety."

Rehoboth Fire Department Deputy Chief William Blizzard said one person was in the home when the fire broke out, but there are no injuries. Blizzard said the home was totaled.

A Delaware State Fire Marshal soaks hot debris on the porch of the house while a member of the Lewes fire department stands watch. (Photo by: Chris Flood)
A Lewes fireman sprays water into the house from an opening in the attic. While the fire destroyed the home, no one was injured. (Photo by: Chris Flood)
Lewes Fire Department members push their way into the still-smoking home on Saulsbury Street in Dewey Beach. (Photo by: Chris Flood)
Hours after the blaze was extinguished, only a shell of the home remained. (Photo by: Nick Roth)
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