Pier 150 fire investigation continues

Despite an arson incident report, the fire that destroyed the Pier 150 restaurant in Sherrills Ford on Saturday is still being investigated, county fire officials said Wednesday.

A Catawba County Sheriff's Office incident report dated June 18 listed the Pier 150 seafood restaurant as the victim of arson, but Catawba County Fire Marshal Mark Pettit said that is not the case.

"The sheriff's department is not investigating that fire — we are," Pettit said. "Arson has not been named in the case."

Catawba County Sheriff's Office Capt. Joel Fish said his office is asked to file a report when there's a large fire involved, adding that "clicking the arson button" for a fire is the "easiest way" for the deputies to file the incident.

Fish also said that the Pier 150 fire is still being investigated.

Pettit said there's probably an alternative way to handle fire reports in the future to avoid confusion, adding that the fire marshal and sheriff's office work independently of one another.

The State Bureau of Investigation is still helping Catawba County officials investigate the fire that devastated the seafood restaurant, but Pettit said "they do not have boots on the ground" in the area.

It took five departments and about 85 firefighters to put out the blaze that was first reported at 12:31 a.m. Saturday.

The owner of Pier 150, Nikolas Fotinos, purchased the building in April 2010 for about $875,000. Neither Fotinos, his wife Maria nor family members could be contacted as of press time.