Ed's Chicken and Crabs in Dewey Beach Destroyed by Fire - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Ed's Chicken and Crabs in Dewey Beach Destroyed by Fire

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Image Caption:    Early Tuesday morning's fire scene at Ed's Chicken and Crabs in Dewey Beach. (Photo: Dewey Beach Police Department) Image Caption: Early Tuesday morning's fire scene at Ed's Chicken and Crabs in Dewey Beach. (Photo: Dewey Beach Police Department)
Early Tuesday morning's fire scene at Ed's Chicken and Crabs in Dewey Beach. (Photo: Dewey Beach Police Department) Early Tuesday morning's fire scene at Ed's Chicken and Crabs in Dewey Beach. (Photo: Dewey Beach Police Department)
Photo: Rehoboth Beach Fire Co. Photo: Rehoboth Beach Fire Co.
Photo: Rehoboth Beach Fire Co. Photo: Rehoboth Beach Fire Co.

DEWEY BEACH, Del.-  Police say a woman is facing DUI and related charges after she lost control of the car she was driving and plowed into Ed's Chicken and Crabs in Dewey Beach early Tuesday morning, rupturing a gas line and causing a fire that destroyed the popular restaurant. 

Dewey Beach police said the incident happened at around 2 a.m. at the eatery, located on the 2200 block of Coastal. Highway. Police said 36-year-old Michelle Small, of Wyoming, Del., was traveling at a high rate of speed on southbound Coastal Highway when she lost control of her 2013 Mini Cooper at Clayton Street. Police said the car crossed the center median, traveled approximately half a block before crashing into Ed's Chicken and Crabs. 

Investigators said that as a result of the crash, a propane line was severed and a gas leak occurred.  Three Dewey Beach police officers, a Delaware State Police trooper and a civilian were in the area and entered the structure.  The officers broke the driver side window of the vehicle and Small was pulled out of the car moments before the building caught fire.  Fire engulfed the entire building and is presumed to be an entire loss, police said. 

Police said Small was treated at the scene for minor injuries by the Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Department. She was released to police custody and transported to the Dewey Beach Police Department for a DUI investigation. Police said that while in custody, Small became unresponsive and was transported to Beebe Medical Center by the Rehoboth Beach VFD. 

Small has been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and other motor vehicle offenses.  The Delaware State Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating the fire.

Ed's Chicken and Crabs had been around for 38 years. Owner Ed Riggin Sr. said he lives four blocks from his restaurant. He said he walked from his house to the restaurant only to watch it burn down.

"It's the end of an era for me, you know, and so it's tough," he said. "But life goes on, that's what you have to do."

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