The Delaware Office of the State Fire Marshal determined that an Oct. 2 fire that

damaged a Middletown house is a case of arson.

The blaze, reported after 4 a.m. Oct. 2, occurred in the unit block of West Lockwood Street near North Broad Street. The Volunteer Hose Co. 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; they escaped from the house without any injuries.

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

Anyone with information regarding this fire is encouraged to contact the State Fire Marshal’s New Castle Division at 323-5375 or Crime Stoppers at 800-847-3333.