The State Bureau of Investigation’s Greenville office has confirmed to Truth or Dare that the May 1, 2007 fire that burned down Basnight’s Lone Cedar Cafe in Nags Head is still an open case. That’s right. The arson investigation into the three and half year old fire lumbers on as the dogged SBI agents scour the county for clues.
The fire happened in the early morning hours of May 1, 2007. The intense fire was not contained for two hours. It burned the structure to the ground. The Nags Head Police Department called in the Wilmington office of the ATF and the State Bureau of Investigation. When asked about the investigation six months after the fire, ATF spokesman Jim Modzelewski told The Virginian Pilot,
“… sometimes… it just takes time to evaluate the evidence, especially with some commercial structures.”
How much more time do you reckon they need?
When the initial investigation revealed arson, Basnight was ‘shocked’ by the news.
All sorts of records were broken to rebuild the restaurant. Demo and foundations permits were applied for and received the next day. The CAMA permit was approved in 11 days. The Town of Nags Head approved the site plan within two weeks. Town Planning Director at the time, Tim Wilson, told the Pilot,
“I believe that this board would do this for any other business in town.”
Basnight told The Pilot,
“I’ve paid every fee…At no time did I ask for any special treatment from anybody.