Lighthouse Restaurant owner charged with first degree arson

Sheila A. Marshall :::

An arrest has been made in connection to the July 10 fire that destroyed the Lighthouse Restaurant – a local landmark – with its owner, Steven Brehaut, age 37, of Milner, facing a single charge in relation to the blaze.

“He was arrested Monday and charged with first degree arson, and he continues to be held in the Lamar County Jail,” said Glenn Allen, a spokesman for Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens.

According to Allen, discoveries investigators made at the fire scene led to the charge against Brehaut.

“Evidence that was recovered at the scene led to the determination that the fire was intentionally set, and that it was intentionally set by Mr. Brehaut,” Allen said.

He said he is not aware of any statements Brehaut may have made to investigators, nor does he know if a motive for the alleged arson has been established.

However, he did say the fire resulted in the complete loss of the business, which was valued at $1.2 million.

“This was the only owner that was identified to me,” he said. “I know he has a sister, but I don’t know the status of any potential business relationship.”

Allen also said he does not know if the Lighthouse Restaurant was struggling financially prior to the alleged arson, or if an insurance claim has been submitted by Brehaut.

“If a business owner has insurance, it would be routine for the claim process to have been started,” he said, but added that with the arson charge, that could result in additional legal woes for Brehaut. “If he had started some type of insurance process, additional charges could be levied.”

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