State News

Authorities: Arson to Blame for Basnight's Restaurant Fire

Posted September 19, 2007

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— Arson was the cause of a fire that destroyed a restaurant owned by Senate President Pro Tem Marc Basnight, investigators said.

A spokesman for Basnight said the Dare County Democrat was shocked by the news. Basnight was notified by authorities that neither he nor anyone in his family was under suspicion in the fire, the spokesman said.

A May 1 fire destroyed the Lone Cedar Cafe, between Manteo and Nags Head. Contractors worked nearly around the clock to build a new restaurant so it could open last month.

Basnight's family received a $1.3 million insurance settlement after the fire, but rebuilding the restaurant cost $3.6 million, the spokesman said.

Nags Head Town Manager Charlie Cameron said authorities haven't identified a suspect in the fire.


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  • Deep thoughts Sep 20, 2007

    Marc Basnight has done many good things for this area and this area returned the kindness by helping him get his restaurant back in business. I am saddened he lost so much history but I am pleased he is back so soon.

  • wdkanesfan Sep 20, 2007

    In most areas, rebuilding an existing business does not require the same permitting process as a new business. So, I would think the Lone Cedar would be grandfathered. It amazes me that people come here to make accusations based on nothing factual.

  • Chiphauler Sep 19, 2007

    He may have gotten one of those incentive packages from Easley

  • shine Sep 19, 2007

    Some people are encouraging that Basnight had something to do with the fire........If that were the case - Why would he rebuild? Makes no sense - no gain and losing all of those antiques and family heirlooms........

    He has bigger fish to fry than that.

  • JennyT Sep 19, 2007

    JQ Public -- too funny!

  • jenn2 Sep 19, 2007

    psychobabble - Yes, anyone could have gotten the appropriate permits, etc. if they had deep enough pockets. Basnight paid all the penalties for expedited approvals. Plus, since the Outer Banks thrives on tourist business, and the Lone Cedar drew in quite a few dollars, I'm sure the powers that be out there wanted it rebuilt quickly, too.

  • anonemoose Sep 19, 2007

    But the big story is how they got all the permits, environmental studies, and inspections done to rebuild it in 4 months. Does anybody think a regular Joe could have gotten that done?

  • JQ Public Sep 19, 2007

    Another example of Global Warming!

  • RALEIGH DOODLEBUG Sep 19, 2007


  • bilboid Sep 19, 2007

    when wondering why something happens, look for the biggest bottom line, the most lucrative motive. Basnight is powerful. Who would make big money from controlling Basnight, and so act to intimidate him?.

    With all the Billions of tax dollars floating around, is there anyone naive enough to think that politicians' families are safe if the politician acts as if the individual taxpayer is the boss?