REHOBOTH BEACH, Del.- Authorities say an electrical malfunction is to blame for a Wednesday night fire that caused substantial damage to a Rehoboth Beach townhouse. 

The Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company said that at around 8 p.m., firefighters responded to the fire at a townhouse located on Catalina Circle in the Sawgrass subdivision off Old Landing Road. 911 received several phone calls reporting heavy fire in a unit.  Initial arriving crews found smoke and flames issuing out of the second and third floor windows. 

Rehoboth Beach firefighters were assisted on scene by the Lewes Fire Department, Indian River Fire Company and Sussex County Emergency Medical Services.  Bethany Beach and Milton firefighters covered the area while units worked on scene. Firefighters were able to keep the fire from spreading to other units.  It took 30 minutes to bring the blaze under control and units remained on scene for nearly three hours for overhaul and clean up. 

Nobody in the townhouse was home, but firefighters were able to rescue the family dog from inside.  Neighboring residents were alerted to evacuate until the area was deemed safe.   There were no reported injuries. 

The Delaware State Fire Marshall’s Office ruled the fire accidental and determined an electrical malfunction was to blame. 

Damage is estimated at $650,000.