From the State Fire Marshals Office:
Deputy State Fire Marshals have determined smoking materials smoldering inside a container initiated the blaze that caused an estimated $325,000 damage to the town house Thursday afternoon located at 620 Cider Press Loop in Joppa.
The 2:31 p.m. fire was discovered by the homeowner when the odor of smoke entered the home and a call to 911 was initiated. Over 60 firefighters from Joppa-Magnolia, Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Kingsville, Abingdon, Bel Air, Susquehanna Hose, Aberdeen and Fallston fire departments responded and were able to control the fire in thirty minutes. There were no injuries reported.
Investigators determined the fire started on the attached rear deck of the two story center unit townhouse. The fire continued up the vinyl siding on the exterior of the residence and gained access to the attic through the eaves of the roof.
Although the home was provided with residential fire sprinklers, the blaze began in an area beyond the range of effectiveness for these devices.