The State Fire Marshal's Office determined the cause of the fire was discarded smoking material in mulch outside the home.

The Delaware State Fire Marshal’s Office has determined that Thursday afternoon’s house fire in Middletown was accidental, caused by "discarded smoking material."

Shortly after 1 p.m., the Odessa Fire Company received a report of a house fire in the 900 block of Lansdowne Road, Middletown, in the Willow Grove Mill townhouse community, off of Route 299 just west of Route 1.

The run log of Volunteer Hose Company of Middletown also lists Volunteer Hose as responding.

When firefighters arrived, they saw heavy fire and smoke coming from the front of a middle of the row townhouse and extending to the roof, said Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Robert Fox.

State fire marshal deputies were called to investigate. They said the fire started outside the residence in a mulch bed and spread to the siding. Deputies determined that the cause of the fire was discarded smoking material, Fox said.

The damage was estimated at $250,000. No injuries were reported.

The homeowner and neighboring residents are being assisted by the Red Cross of Delmarva.