Officials are trying to find the person who set fire to a historic Delaware building considered a landmark by local residents.
On Monday, shortly before 5 a.m., firefighters were called to a building on the 2600 block of Philadelphia Pike in Claymont, Delaware. While no injuries were reported, the blaze caused $550,000 in damage. Monday afternoon, the Delaware State Fire Marshal’s Office determined that the fire was Arson.
The 2-alarm fire gutted the building, which dates back to the 1890s and was once the home of the Coach House restaurant.
"It was just a neighborhood restaurant,” said Theresa Case, a longtime customer. “It was a great thing. It was fun. We used to come out here Sunday evening to have dinner. It was great.”
The Coach House has been gone for a few years and the building became the location for a few bars, most recently the Bourbon Street grill.
A spokesperson from the County Land Use Department says a family company owns the property. However, a Cleveland-based developer wants to open a dollar general store on the site.
Some local residents say they don’t like the idea of a dollar store being built there since the building has so much history. Some also say they believe the developers would have an interest in the building being burnt down. The developer, however, says that any such allegations are “preposterous.”
Anyone with information on the incident should call the State Fire Marshal’s Office, attention Chief Deputy Robert Fox, at 302-323-5375.