Dewey Beach cottage razed

Accidental fire on April 16 caused $50,000 worth of damage
June 12, 2014

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.