Officials: Arson caused restaurant blaze

Fire officials say accelerants were used in a blaze that destroyed a Sherrills Ford restaurant more than nine months ago.

The Pier 150 seafood restaurant was completely destroyed June 18, 2011, after a large fire gutted the building.

It took five departments and about 85 firefighters to put out the blaze that was first reported around midnight.

At the time, fire officials were unsure if the blaze, which occurred only a half-mile from the nearest fire station, was caused by arson or some other cause.
Now, Catawba County Fire Marshal Mark Pettit said it appears accelerants were involved.

“Based on the information at this point, it appears that it was a set fire,” Pettit said.

Pettit said fire investigators with the State Bureau of Investigation took and tested samples from the building, which tested positive for accelerants.

There are no suspects at this time, and local investigators are still seeking information from insurance companies, Pettit said.

“We’re proceeding with the investigation,” he said.

The owner of Pier 150, Nikolas Fotinos, purchased the building in April 2010 for about $875,000, according to Catawba County records.

The Pier 150 restaurant, formerly Captain Pete’s, was only open for a little more than a year, but area residents said business at the seafood oyster bar was usually slow.