State News

Authorities: Arson to Blame for Basnight's Restaurant Fire

Posted September 19, 2007 8:06 a.m. EDT
Updated September 19, 2007 2:50 p.m. EDT

— 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.