The state fire marshal has determined that a fire this morning (Oct. 2) that damaged a Middletown house is a case of arson.

The blaze, reported shortly after 4:00 a.m., was in the unit block of West Lockwood Street near North Broad Street. The Volunteer Hose Company responded to the scene and extinguished the fire.

State fire investigators were called to the scene and are conducting the criminal investigation. The fire was intentionally started while five children and two adults were asleep inside. Everyone escaped from the house without any injuries.

Fire damage was estimated at $10,000. The five children and two adults have been relocated.

Anyone with information regarding this fire is asked to contact the state fire marshal’s New Castle division at (302) 323-5375 or Crime Stoppers at (800) TIP-3333.